Historical Fragments’ Mobile Echo

Encountering the Current Refugee Crisis with Ai Weiwei

in Transfers
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Translocation – Transformation is an ambitious contribution to the subject of mobility. Materially, it interlinks seemingly disparate objects into a surprisingly unified exhibition on mobile histories and heritages: twelve bronze zodiac heads, silk and bamboo creatures, worn life vests, pressed Pu-erh tea, thousands of broken antique teapot spouts, and an ancestral wooden temple from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) used by a tea-trading family. Historically and politically, the exhibition engages Chinese stories from the third century BCE, empires in eighteenth-century Austria and China, the Second Opium War in the nineteenth century, the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the mid-twentieth century, and today’s global refugee crisis.