Torchia in London to Introduce Ai Weiwei Catalog

By Purnell T. Cropper | October 15, 2010

In London this week, Ai Weiwei’s Unilever exhibition opens in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, featuring 15 million handmade and handpainted (each unique) porcelain sunflower seeds—just like the ton of seeds shown in the Arcadia University Art Gallery last spring. The seeds will form a carpet eight inches thick, reports the Telegraph.

Arcadia University Art Gallery Director Richard Torchia will be on hand as Ai participates in the Serpentine Gallery’s Map Marathon on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16 – 17. Torchia will introduce the catalog from the Arcadia show, Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn (Ceramic Works, 5000 BCE – 2010 CE).

The fully illustrated catalog features four essays commissioned for the exhibition and appearing in the book both in English and in Chinese translation. In addition to a comprehensive, firsthand account of the place of ceramics within Ai’s larger multi-disciplinary practice by Philip Tinari, the book includes a text by critic Dario Gamboni (examining Ai’s strategies within the legacy of iconoclasm); an essay situating Ai’s work within the tradition of Chinese ceramics by Stacey Pierson (a noted scholar in the field), and a text by Glenn Adamson (head of graduate studies in the research department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London) exploring Ai’s ongoing iterations of his Coca-Cola Vase. The catalog also includes the first English translation of an interview with Ai originally published in his White Cover Book (1995), the second in an influential trio of volumes that marked the re-emergence of the contemporary art scene in the mid-1990s. Read more.