An enormous 900-square-meter painting by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei was unveiled this weekend in the Chilean port Valparaiso. It was produced to honour the Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. The work titled “A Pablo” (“To Pablo”) is featured on the facade of what was once a local jail, which has been transformed into a cultural center.
The mural incorporates the verse of the poem “Cabo de Chile” by his father, Ai Qing, who dedicated the poem to Neruda, a close friend. The work of art depicts images of the Senkaku Islands, a small East China Sea archipelago, known locally as the Diaoyus. These islands are at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan.
Born in 1957 in Beijing, China, Ai Weiwei lives and works in forced internship, unable to visit the west. most widely known and outspoken Chinese artists working today. Known for his social or performance-based interventions as well as object-based artworks, he employs metaphorical references, humour and political irony in his work. He is best known for his collaboration on the ‘Birds Nest Stadium’ for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He returned to work on the design of the 2012 Serpentine Pavilion with Herzog & de Meuron the original team which produced the ‘Birds Nest’.Working in disciplines ranging from sculpture, photography to multimedia video installation, there seems to be no stopping the output of Mr Ai’s innovative creative force.