Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei at Brooklyn Museum

Large iron boxes line the foyer of the museum, just beyond the Rodin sculptures beneath the glass ceiling.  Inside them, meticulous dioramas portray Wei's life while under 24hr surveillance in prison. 

Look up to see a giant snake made of children's backpacks. A reminder of shoddy school architecture that collapsed in the Chinese earthquake of 2008. More than 5000 students died.

Another room holds the contents of a real Chinese family, forced off their land by the government to make way for fast- growing infrastructure.  Items pinned to the walls convey a displaced shame.

A Bowl of Pearls.