Home Arts & Culture Ai Weiwei exhibits in Yorkshire Sculpture Park chapel on May 24

Ai Weiwei exhibits in Yorkshire Sculpture Park chapel on May 24

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has chosen a former chapel in Yorkshire as the venue for his next month’s exhibition in the UK.

Ai Weiwei will send 45 antique Chinese chairs to be laid out in the 18th Century chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

They will be shown alongside three sculptures from May 24.


Ai Weiwei in the Chapel will be the artist’s first exhibition in a public British gallery since he filled Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with thousands of porcelain sunflower seeds in 2010.

Ai Weiwei will not travel to the sculpture park, near Wakefield, for the occasion.

Ai Weiwei will send 45 antique Chinese chairs to be laid out in the 18th Century chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei will send 45 antique Chinese chairs to be laid out in the 18th Century chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A strident opponent of the Chinese state, Ai Weiwei’s passport has been confiscated and his travel strictly limited.

The wooden chairs are part of his Fairytale-1001 Chairs series and date from the Qing Dynasty, which lasted from 1644 to 1911/12.

Visitors will be invited to “take a seat and consider freedom, refuge, sanctuary and their antonyms”.

A 6m- Iron Tree sculpture will also be on show, as will his porcelain sculpture Ruyi and the marble Lantern.

The exhibition will reopen the chapel after a $800,000 refurbishment.

As well as being an outspoken dissident, Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists.

Ai Weiwei was the highest-placed artist on ArtReview magazine’s annual power list in 2013.

Sonia is the heart and the artist of the team. She loves art and all that it implies. As Sonia says, good music, a well directed movie, or attending a music or film festival melts people’s heart and make them better. She is great at painting and photography. Working on scrapbooks is her favorite activity.