The multidisciplinary artist Ai Weiwei has long been labeled a subversive by the Chinese government. His work unveils unspoken truths about the regime, and raises uncomfortable questions. But despite spending years as a political prisoner, Ai has never stopped engaging with his home country. This exhibition sees Chinese antiquities from his collection placed alongside his own work. Ai acquired most of the old pieces at a 2020 auction in Cambridge, and while some hail from the Northern Wei dynasty, others are counterfeits. The parallels between what is real and authentic and what is fake and reconstructed are an important part of the show. There will also be three of Ai’s documentary films, which look at the coronavirus and its effect on life in Wuhan, the budding protests in Hong Kong, and global migration. A highlight of the show? Ai’s renowned image Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn is recreated here in LEGO bricks. —E.C.
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