Ai Weiwei’s Magnificent ‘Forever’ Installation Builds a Glimmering Cavern from 1,200 Bikes

by , 06/16/14
filed under: Art, Design, Gallery

ai weiwei, forever bicycles, chinese art, bicycle art, political art, social art, installation china, taipei fine art museum

Cycling is one of the most common forms of transportation in China, but Weiwei manipulates the bicycles by removing their primary function and making them static. The freedom associated with cycling is lost and the bicycles are piled together in a labyrinth-like way that renders them useless and immobile. Visitors can stand below the installation and see each detail from a new angle, gaining a new perspective on the bicycles and reflecting on their meaning.

The show assembles 21 exhibits of the artist’s work in total, including the display ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’, which consists of a series of large bronze animal heads staked on posts in a circular formation. The installation works within the context of historical dispute and tradition in China.

Weiwei created the exhibition following a four month political detention for allegations of economic crimes. The artists’ brilliant work often has a social or political subtext, and continues to receive huge amounts of attention worldwide.

+ Ai Weiwei

+ Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Images courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. kimholleman November 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Exceptionally boring. I would hope someone with that much hype would try harder to make a challenging installation.

    Also…those bikes are NEW. Not RESUSED. Not RECYCLED. What exactly is interesting about buying TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars worth of new bikes and stringing them up? This is the great Ai Weiwei? Come on, I expect a LOT more out of international superstar artists…

  2. sucka November 18, 2011 at 11:52 am

    12,000 bikes, now forever consigned to the most wasteful, pretentious and pointless exhibit that inhabitat has ever featured? Seriously?

  3. tomob57 November 18, 2011 at 7:18 am

    How can he afford stuff like this?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home