“Ai had the mischievous notion of mixing his phony (and real) auction acquisitions with pieces of his household furniture, ceramics, and stone reproductions of everyday objects: he had a CCTV camera and a takeout container rendered in marble, and a pair of handcuffs and an old iPhone were carved from hunks of jade.”

“These antique pieces, however, have not been formally examined by experts, and they are exhibited alongside Ai’s works that also play with ideas of authenticity: Marble Toilet Paper (2020), a sculpture in the shape of a soft toilet roll made of the hard marble, created in response to Covid-19 pandemic panic buying;”

“In a repurposed mahogany display case which once sat in the British Museum, Ai offers up a cabinet of curiosities: a roll of toilet paper and a takeaway box sculpted in gleaming white stone, a pair of handcuffs and anal beads carved out of jet-black jade.”

“Playfulness is so important – I think I am like a cat. Cats are always wondering. If you throw a paper ball to a cat, it can play for a whole day…. Life is a serious matter, but also ironic. When marble was used in the past, it had a monumental or memorialising status. Toilet paper disappeared from the shelves during the pandemic.

Ai Weiwei has launched a social media campaign in defence of freedom of press following the news of a recent high court ruling that overturned an earlier decision and judged in favor of allowing julian assange to be extradited to the US.

“The installment also includes marble and jade sculptures such as Marble Helmet (2015) and Marble Takeout Box (2015) along with the ceramic work He Xie (2011) which commemorates the feast hosted by Ai Weiwei amid the demolition of his Shanghai studio by the Chinese authorities in 2010.”

“Meanwhile, a series of white marble sculptures have also been a highlight. The Marble Takeout Container (2015) symbolises modern life, while the two rolls of Marble Toilet Paper (2020) reflect how our lives have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which at one point made toilet paper become a valuable item.”

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