Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals

This exhibition catalog explores the 2010 monumental work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, created by internationally acclaimed contemporary Chinese artist and social activist Ai Weiwei. The work is a reimagining of a Qing dynasty zodiac water-clock system at the Old Summer Palace near Beijing, which was looted in 1850 during the Second Opium War. Ai reinterpreted the original fountainheads in a gold series and a bronze series, as his first monumental public art installation.

Great Benin

The British Punitive Expedition against the Kingdom of Benin in 1897 spawned an outpouring of curiosity about this African kingdom, its stunning bronze sculpture (confiscated booty), and its tyrannical king. H. Long Roth’s Great Benin is one of the classic pieces of literature written about Benin. It is not a product of direct observation—the author never traveled in West Africa—but rather of careful research on eyewitness accounts and museum collections.