Newseum and Hirshhorn Celebrate Freedom With Three-Night Projection of the Art and Words of enowned Artist Ai Weiwei

Newseum and Hirshhorn Celebrate Freedom With Three-Night Projection of the Art and Words of enowned Artist Ai Weiwei

The Newseum, in partnership with the Hirshhorn Museum, will present a projection featuring images and quotes by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Ai is an outspoken critic of the Chinese government's stance on democracy whose advocacy of universal human rights complements the Newseum's mission to champion freedom of speech and expression for all people.

Visible from Pennsylvania Avenue and parts of the National Mall, the projection will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet on the exterior of the Newseum. It will feature the trio of images from one of Ai's most recognizable works, "Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn," 1995/2009, as well as quotes from the artist about freedom of expression and the importance of individual engagement and action within society. Projected over the 45 words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the powerful images and quotes will draw attention to the important freedoms all Americans enjoy. The projection will appear from Jan. 17 to 19, beginning at 7 p.m. each night.

A celebrated artist recognized for his collaboration with architects Herzog & de Meuron on the design for the "Bird's Nest" stadium at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Ai has become known for his political activism, which he often accomplishes through his art and through his embrace of the Internet and social media.

The work featured in the Newseum projection is a photographic triptych documenting Ai's destruction of a piece of pottery that was deemed valuable because it was made roughly 2,000 years ago. The piece raises issues about cultural values as well as iconoclasm and artistic tradition. Some of his other controversial displays have explored the aftermath of the deadly 2008 Sichuan province earthquake and governmental censorship in China.

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