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© Ai Weiwei. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.
Artist:Ai Weiwei , Born in Beijing, China, 1957 Title:Marble Chair Date:2008 Medium:Marble Culture: Chinese Dimensions:47 1/4 x 22 1/16 x 18 1/8 in. (120 x 56 x 46 cm) Credit Line:Museum purchase with funds provided by the estate of Wallace Fowlie Accession number:2011.15.1 Label Copy: Marble Chair takes the form of a traditional wooden chair from the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1644 AD and 1644-1912 AD). In the past five years, Ai Weiwei has used this form in numerous installations. Each chair is carved from a single block of marble, a medium often used for monuments and gravestones, which memorializes and translates the traditional chair into an object of permanence. The reinterpretation raises questions of history, memory, cultural authority and modernization. Marble Chair suggests that the rush of 'progress' takes its toll not only on the people, but also on the culture that is lost within the change. The empty chair evokes an absent figure, an effect made more significant during the artist's recent incarceration by the Chinese government.

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