Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles installed
at Palazzo Franchetti in Venice

| 3 comments
 

Venice Architecture Biennale 2014: a monumental installation of interconnected bicycle frames by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been installed in the riverside courtyard of Palazzo Franchetti in Venice.

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei at the Lisson Gallery Venice

As the latest edition of Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles series, the installation is a grouping of 1,179 stainless steel bicycle frames that together create modular layers of geometric shapes.

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei at the Lisson Gallery Venice

The name of the sculpture refers to the Forever cycle brand that has been mass-manufacturing bicycles in Shanghai since 1940. It is intended as a play on the concepts of assembling and copying in China – a theme that occurs in many of Ai's projects, from his installation of connected chairs at the 2008 biennale to the Sunflower Seeds project that covered the turbine hall of London's Tate Modern in 2010.

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei at the Lisson Gallery Venice
Photograph by Luke Hayes

Ai was unable to install the sculpture himself, as he is currently being prevented by the Chinese government from leaving his home country, following his 2011 arrest for alleged economic crimes.

Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei at the Lisson Gallery Venice
Photograph by Amy Frearson, Dezeen

Genius Loci – Spirit of Place was organised by the Lisson Gallery, to tie in with the Venice Architecture Biennale. Ai is one of 19 artists featured in the show, alongside Anish Kapoor, Richard Long and Tokujin Yoshioka.

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  • Leiurus

    Since when is Ai Weiwei an architect?

    • http://www.dezeen.com/ Dezeen Magazine

      Hi Leiurus, thanks for commenting. Although Ai does work in architecture, you’re right that he is best known as an artist so we’ve amended the text. Amy/Dezeen

  • Leiurus

    My comment is out of context now. I made it because when the article was published yesterday it was saying “by Chinese architect Ai Weiwei”. It was fixed a few hours later.