Ai Weiwei's major solo presentation opens at Serralves Museum, Porto
23 July 2021
A major presentation of monumental sculpture by Ai Weiwei has now opened at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves in Porto, Portugal. 'Intertwine' brings a body of work to Serralves that reflects the artist's interest in the environment and his particular concerns regarding the deforestation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.
As part of a continued series of work with trees and their roots, this exhibition marks the premiere of Ai's most significant sculpture to date. Pequi Tree (2021) stands at 32m in height in solid cast iron in the Serralves Park. 1200 years after its germination, this example of the now endangered Pequi Vinagreiro species was moulded in its native Brazil, cast in China, and is now installed for the first time at Serralves. Transformed from wood to metal, from mortal to eternal, while seeming to enter the realm of mythology, the tree will remain on exhibition for the course of one year as a witness to the disappearance of the harmonious co-existence of human beings with nature.
Elsewhere in the Park's grounds and inside the museum are a number of works from the Roots series. These cast works combine various sections of different Pequi tree roots – sourced with the help of local artisans in Trancoso, Brazil – to create striking, creature-like hybrid forms.
The exhibition – conceived for the Serralves Park and the central room of the Museum – is curated by Philippe Vergne and Paula Fernandes with the support of the artist’s studio, Lisson Gallery, and neugerriemschneider, Berlin.
Find further information via Serralves.
Image © Ai Weiwei Studio, courtesy Serralves. Photography by Filipe Braga