Jun 18, 2013
By Jane Brown
A monumental piece of art work will be unveiled today at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. A set of sculptures by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei will be on display in the reflecting pool until September 22nd. The Art Gallery of Ontario has partnered with the City of Toronto to bring Ai Weiwei’s “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” sculpture series to this prominent Toronto location. AGO Director Matthew Teitelbaum told the CBC this morning, he believes Ai Wei Wei’s art can do what politics can’t. “I’m a firm believer that when words fail, images can work to bring people into dialogue. And I think Ai Weiwei has the capability as an artist because he reaches out beyond borders so easily and so confidently to bring us into a conversation about what freedom means.”
55 year old Ai Weiwei is prevented from leaving China because of his criticism of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. The installation at Nathan Phillips Square precedes the opening of the AGO exhibition “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” on August 17th. Toronto is the only Canadian stop on the exhibition’s North American tour.