Ai Weiwei. Zodiac Charms Gold ChainNecklace, 999 pure gold; length: 55 cm (21.6 in.)1500Disponibilità: dicembre 8, 2023
Ai Weiwei and TASCHEN present an unprecedented fine art jewelry collaboration following the success of the artist’s Papercut Portfolio. With the Zodiac Charms, Ai returns to his seminal 2010 work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, an exploration of history, authenticity, and cultural dialogue. In this new, exclusive jewelry version on the theme, he turns to the multifaceted personal meanings the Chinese zodiac has held over the centuries. The charm has been sculpted by the artist based on its appearance in the earlier work and hand-cast in 999 pure gold.
Ai Weiwei, Zodiac Charm Gold Chain1500
The Ai Weiwei Zodiac Charms
The tale of the “Great Race” describes how and in what order each of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac came to be included. The idea of an animal zodiac—composed of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig—grew out of the Twelve Earthly Branches previously used to order time. The twelve animals in turn rule over a lunar year, lending certain traits and attributes of their characters to those born within their time span. They also stand for the twelve double hours of the day, their ranking derived from a mythical race to the Jade Emperor’s birthday, with the rat, who managed to arrive first riding the Ox across a turbulent river, taking the midnight hour.
As part of his constant investigation into Chinese history, beliefs, and crafts, Ai Weiwei notoriously re-interpreted the Zodiac in his 2010 public sculpture Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which brought to life his reflections on cultural dialogue, war, authenticity, and national values. Harking back to the history of not only the zodiac signs, but the story behind the forms of the animal heads themselves, he recreated the zodiac figures from a fabled 18th-century fountain in Beijing’s Old Summer palace.
This piece invites wearing the signs of the zodiac as a charm, a custom that goes back almost as far as the concept of the zodiac itself. Fittingly, the reverse of each charm carries the name of the animal sign in Chinese small seal script, an ancient form of calligraphy standardized at the start of the Qin dynasty around 220 BCE. The Zodiac Charm has been sculpted based on its appearance in the Circle of Animals and hand-cast in 999 pure gold.
Chain made of 999 fine gold, designed to accompany the Ai Weiwei Zodiac Charms.
Ai Weiwei. Zodiac Charms Gold ChainNecklace, 999 pure gold; length: 55 cm (21.6 in.)
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