Since Nicholas Logsdail founded the Lisson Gallery in 1967, it has become one of the most influential international contemporary art galleries in the world. Their main focus in on artists who transform the way art is presented. One such artist is Ai Weiwei. Born in Beijing, Weiwei works in a range of mediums, including sculpture, architecture, photography, and film. One of his most notable projects was a collaboration on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.
As a political activist, Weiwei uses his work to make critical social and cultural commentaries. Investigating government corruption and cover - ups eventually got him into trouble in 2011, when he was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport without any official charges. But despite being held in detention for eighty-one days, it does not seem to have impeded his creativity.
Ai Weiwei's third solo exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, runs until the 19th July. It is free to visit, and while there, you will be able to explore a monumental new installation of bicycles, which is to become part of an ongoing series, entitled 'Forever'. Forever is a bicycle brand in China that has been around since 1940. Once seen on every street, they are now steadily being replaced by fuming cars.
As well as the main feature, Weiwei also presents a number of personal items, which have been turned into hand-carved copies. Examples include a marble recreation of his father's armchair, jade cosmetic bottles, coat hangers, cuff links, and the window handles of Beijing taxis.
A few items relate to Weiwei's time in incarceration, but most refer to life in China, such as a carved marble gas mask that refers to the pollution in the capital.