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Ai Weiwei Re-Tunes "Forever Bicycles" Installation With Heavenly Lights

Is this what CitiBike purgatory looks like?

Images courtesy of My Modern Met

This past Saturday, notorious Chinese artist Ai Weiwei premiered a remixed version of his past Forever Bicycles installation. Weiwei stacked 3,144 bicycles over 30 feet high and 100 feet in length and lit them with heavenly blue and pink lights (whereas before the bikes were stacked without added color or flourishes).

This was the first time Forever Bicycles has been displayed in a public space, and included more bicycles than previously ever used. 

Weiwei's installation was the centerpiece of this year's Toronto Nuit Blanche, an art event that takes over the Canadian city for a night, and captured the eyes of thousands of visitors in Nathan Phillips Square. 

Forever is the oldest Chinese bicycle brand and biking is the most common public transportation mode in China, suggesting that Weiwei is forcing us to think about this omnipresent transportation tool in a foreign setting of stasis and rest. The way he configures the bikes also makes them look like a ghostly vortex from a distance, sucking us from afar into their glowing center. The supposedly mundane bikes now have awesome power due to their new size and light. Weiwei has turned a boring object into a godly creature of sorts. 

The display is open until October 27th, but check out Forever Bicycles before the lights were added. Do the lights add an artificial element that cuts the message from the original design? Or do they enhance the work into a monolithic structure that will be remembered for years to come? Let us know in the comment section. 

Other articles from The Creators Project archives on Ai Weiwei: 

Ai Weiwei's "Cube Light" Can Even Make The Hirshhorn Museum Look Small

Architectural Archeology With Herzog & de Meuron And Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei Shows China's Cycle Of Change

For more from the author see @zachsokol