Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, on display at PAM (photo Jeff Jahn)
Portlanders love a good lecture and it can't hurt that wildfire smoke has made outdoor activities difficult so a lecture on Ai Weiwei by Lilian M. Li on The Zodiac Animals in the Garden of Perfect Brightness: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and Cultural Patrimony
in a climate controlled museum might be just what you need this weekend. We interviewed Mr. Ai here years ago
but it should be interesting to most to find out how this art piece is more of a reflection on the rest of the world's familiarity with Chinese culture than Chinese culture itself (a majority of Chinese restaurants have something related to their zodiac so instead of something like the Three Friends of Winter
he parrots back a Western version Chinese culture back to the West). It's a bit like me wearing a plastic Viking helmet on the Irish Coast (something I'd never do btw)... it recalls a kind of cultural invasion/subjugation that has been turned into tourist fodder. Most non Chinese know little about their history and other shows like Margie Livingston, Gods & Heroes and Anish Kapoor make it a good time to visit the museum.
The Zodiac Animals in the Garden of Perfect Brightness: Orientalism, Occidentalism, and Cultural Patrimony
Lecture: August 23 2-3PM
Portland Art Museum
12129 SW Park Ave.
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