Published in ArtNow Magazine, 01 October 2015
Royal Academy of Art, London
19 September - 13 December 2015
A thicket of reconstructed trees greats visitors as they enter the Royal Academy’s courtyard. The work, entitled Tree (2009-10, 2015), is made up of discarded pieces of bough collected from the mountains of southern China. Its medium reverbs within the open space, subtly echoing the artist’s manifesto. The disparate parts interlock and fuse, as the eight simulacral structures create a cohesive whole. Together they boom a visual commentary on the way in which geographically and culturally diverse people unite to form ‘One China’. Simultaneously playful and searingly political, Tree sets the stage for Ai Weiwei’s retrospective exhibition at the R.A.