Artist Ai Weiwei. Photo by Ai Weiei Studio.


World renowned Chinese artist makes light object that connects all artworks
A special debut at the approaching Amsterdam Light Festival: the world renowned Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei makes a light object that connects all the artworks with each other. This artwork, titled Red Line, is the linking thread that connects the Water Colors boat route. With the artwork Ai Weiwei wants to confront visitors with metaphorical and literal boundaries. Land borders, language barriers, but also personal boundaries and limitations of possibilities. With a length of 7.5 kilometres, the artwork is the longest object that has ever been presented during the festival.

Posted 21 April 2017

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According to curator Lennart Booij, this is the first time since the beginning of the festival that there is one artwork that functions as the connecting thread of the festival. With his object Ai Weiwei captivatingly depicts the festival theme of the 'Water Colors' boat route for 2017 ‘Existential’. Red Line does not let go of the visitors during the boat route; it is an illuminating border as connection. “With 'Existential' we want to positively stimulate visitors to think about what unites people and what role light plays in this”, Booij explains. Because Ai has created an object that connects all other artworks with each other, Amsterdam Light Festival has assigned him with the special status of art ambassador.
New: Open Light Museum
What is new in 2017 is that the Illuminade walking route is replaced by a new concept called the 'Open Light Museum'. Spread across the Marineterrein Amsterdam, both inside and outside, 15 artworks will be exhibited. Visitors can explore the exposition area, which is located at walking distance from Amsterdam Central Station, at their own initiative without a fixed walking route. At the 'Open Light Museum' maps and program guides with more information about the artworks are available. Have a look at the website for more information.
Water Colors: 30 November 2017 - 21 January 2018 
Open Light Museum: 14 December 2017 - 7 January 2018
About Amsterdam Light Festival
The city center of Amsterdam is from 30 November 2017 until 21 January 2018 the atmospheric decor for the sixth edition of Amsterdam Light Festival. Over 53 winter days the festival shows light sculptures and projections of national and international artists. The festival offers a boat route ‘Water Colors’ and the ‘Open Light Museum’ that visitors can explore on foot. The theme of this year’s edition is ‘Existential’. Through this theme the festival organization wants to positively stimulate the visitor to think about what connects people and what part light plays in this. Next to the 'Water Colors' boat route and the 'Open Light Museum', various other activities are organized. Amsterdam Light Festival is made possible by Stromma Netherlands. www.amsterdamlightfestival.com.
About Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei (1957) is an artist who resides and works in both Berlin and Beijing. His father, the poet Ai Qing, was denounced by China’s Communist Party in 1958 and his family was sent to labor camps, first near the North Korean border and then eventually in Xinjiang province. They returned to Beijing in 1976 after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Ai studied animation at the Beijing Film Academy, then studied art in New York in the early eighties. Upon returning to China a decade later, Ai advocated for experimental artists by publishing underground books and curating avant-garde exhibitions. He has worked in many media, including sculpture, installation, photography, architecture and film. He is an outspoken advocate of human rights and freedom of speech. He is the recipient of the Václav Havel Prize in Creative Dissent in 2012 and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include Law of the Journey, National Gallery in Prague, 2017, transformation-translocation, 21er Haus Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna, 2016, #SafePassage, Foam, Amsterdam, 2016, Ai Weiwei. Libero, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2016, Ai Weiwei, Royal Academy of Art, London, 2015, Evidence, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 2014, and Ai Weiwei: According to What?, Hirshhorn Museum of Art, Washington D.C., 2012.
About the Marineterrein Amsterdam
The Marineterrein Amsterdam is an oasis of tranquillity and focus in the center of a dynamic city. In this serene location, entrepreneurs, academics, and citizens of the world work together on innovative ideas and projects that promote a resilient society. One step at a time, this previously closed-off area is being transformed into a new and innovative city district that will benefit the area, the city, and the country as a whole. www.marineterrein.nl
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