Artist riding high with latest work

Last week, more than 1,200 bicycles made their way to Rio de Janeiro's Bank of Brazil Cultural Centre.

The stainless steel bicycles make up Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei's monumental Forever Bicycles installation.

The piece gets its name from one of China's most popular bicycle brands, Shanghai-based Forever Bicycle Company.

With his installation, Ai pays tribute to the role that the bicycle plays in Chinese society.

The size of the artwork and large number of bicycles used are meant to allude to China's mass production capability, which has long been the driving force behind the country's manufacturing industry.

Ai has created many iterations of the installation in various places, each version site-specific to its location, with different number of bicycles, positioning and formation.

This latest one is part of his exhibition in Rio featuring about 60 works. It will run until November.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 23, 2019, with the headline 'Artist riding high with latest work'. Print Edition | Subscribe