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Ink, rice paper, terracotta urns


Installation from TRES DESEOS EN EL BOSQUE in Avila with Luciana Rago  

Inspired by “Bonsai Trees,” a 1979 poem by Ai Qing translated by Robert Dorsett. Ai Qing, the father of Ai Weiwei, was a poet from Zhejiang, China. From 1957-1978, in the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, he was accused as a rightist and exiled to labor camps in Xinjiang. This poem, published a year after Ai was allowed to write again, soars with joy and sorrow like a “parody that writes the end to freedom.”


“Now they’re turned inside out:
young, they’re old,
and old, young,
to please someone’s curiosity, glorify some greenskeeper’s ingenuity. Soft, pliable, easily twisted,
mute vegetation, they bow beneath the blade.
You can say it’s a kind of art:
a parody that writes
the end to freedom.”

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