I am welcomed back to Toronto by summer and Ai Weiwei’s installation at Nathan Phillips Square (running until October 27).
Ai Weiwei is one of the world’s most prolific, provocative and significant artists of today. Circle of Animals / Zodiac Sculpture is his reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads of the Chinese zodiac that once stood in the gardens of the Yuanming Yuan, an imperial summer palace in Beijing. Designed in the 1700’s, the animal heads originally functioned as a water clock fountain, but in 1860, the palace was ransacked by French and British troops and the heads were looted. Only seven of the twelve figures are known to still exist.