317.3 x 282.8 x 126.1 cm
124 7/8 x 111 1/4 x 49 5/8 in
Ai Weiwei’s groupings of stainless-steel bikes refer to the famous ‘Forever’ brand of bicycles that have been mass-produced in Shanghai since 1940. The sculpture is configured using ever-expanding modular shapes and layers of geometrically stacked and fused individual frames to create one large structure. The repetitiveness and scale of the installation alludes to the importance of the vehicle in China’s development and progress and, conversely, the problematic nature of China’s mass-manufacturing industry and consumerism.
“The bicycle is one of the few objects every household had when I was growing up. To have a bike was a luxury. Forever Bicycles were the best brand at the time… I use this ready-made which is something the whole society is familiar with. Even today in rich nations biking is a form of exercise and is very popular. It’s related to people. In China, this is changing. More cars are on the road and the air is getting increasingly polluted. There are many aspects to the bicycle.” Ai Weiwei