Traveling Light, 2007

Glass crystals, tieli wood, steel, electric lights

Traveling Light, 2007

Photo: Marcos Morilla

At the core of Traveling Light, Ai Weiwei placed a pillar, rescued from a Ming-dynasty temple, which anchors the piece in a historical continuum. It bears two intersecting metal circles at its top, which hold strings of hand-made crystal beads. It is primarily about form, via an unusual juxtaposition of materials and textures that achieves something far beyond the function for which each of the elements was designed.

At its core, however, is a reference to the past and the impact of the present upon it. In form,Traveling Light centres on the deconstruction of a core element; re-orienting a former function and adding new features to astonishing new effect. The huge pillar, which rises straight up from a wheel-mounted base, becomes an oversized chandelier, yet with an ability to be easily moved. It is as if, while connecting a fragment of the past to the present, the chandelier illuminates the way to the future that lies ahead of us.

Passages. Travels in Hyper-Space
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