The following video comes to us from The Choices Program at Brown University. A scholar walks us through a basic reading of Ai Weiwei’s classic Dropping of a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995.
Choices is a non-profit program that teaches current and historical international issues. They offer professional development for educators. The video above links Ai Weiwei to a reaction regarding the Chinese cultural revolution. Choices draws connections between history and contemporary society.
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One thought on "Video | A Crash Course on Ai Weiwei, “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn”"
David L Hume
This works draws a somewhat astounded response from art and design, (mostly design) students in China. However in an experiment I conducted in class teaching Dada, I deliberately dropped a previously discussed tea cup and received a similar class wide gasp. This caused to consider if it is the destruction of history/culture that is the issue or simply the wanton destruction.
Further, the narrator in the video suggests it is probably an ancient urn, as it does not look like recent design. I also wonder if it should also bring to mind the nature of contemporary Chinese society, in which there is great uncertainty about the veracity of most objects. Yes it is a probably a Han Dynasty urn, but then china is China.