'Forever' by Ai Wei Wei

‘Forever’ by Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei may be China’s best known artist. I say that only because I know his work, from the Tate Modern in London and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

I was very pleased to see him included in what’s become for us an unmissable biennial Amsterdam event, Art Zuid.

From May to September the Vondelpark, the Apollolaan, the Museumplein and other sites in our Amsterdam district, Oud Zuid (‘Old South’) become open air sculpture museums.

Art Zuid, Apollolaan, Amsterdam Zuid

Art Zuid, Apollolaan, Amsterdam Zuid

Tucked away by the entrance to the Beatrixpark we found the Kunst Kapel (Art Chapel), a small circular space above a pleasant cafe restaurant.

The sun streaming in from the central dome was perfect for lighting Ai Wei Wei’s work, Forever.



Ai Wei Wei achieved fame (some would say ‘notoriety’) for his flamboyant work and political activism, culminating in his arrest and detention in 2011. No charges were laid, though Chinese authorities muttered the words ‘tax evasion’.

I see Ai is still regarded as a top tier professional blackjack player (thanks, wikipedia). He was artistic consultant for the design of the Beijing Olympics ‘Birds’s Nest’ stadium, though he later withdrew and distanced himself from the project, and made no secret of his anti-Olympics views.

Whatever you think of his work, it will always attract attention. It deserves to.

Kunst Kapel


Filed under Art, Holland


  1. That is all kinds of awesome!

  2. I saw the sunflower seeds at Tate Modern and they were truly impressive. Forever looks beautiful although from a distance with this kind of ceiling arrangement it reminds me of the mushroom shape of something atomic.

    • True, TM, though ‘Forever’ wasn’t specifically designed for this location. Yes, 100 million sunflower seeds in the Tate Modern Turbine Room must have been a sight. The smaller version in the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney is impressive enough.

  3. Love the cycle sphere. I’m a fan of his work, too. Sorry to have missed this.

  4. Did you check the saddle bags for a herring?

  5. rebeccafalbrecht

    We saw this two weeks ago when we were in Amsterdam! We also saw the other sculptures which we enjoyed. Thanks for posting this. I saw the bicycles sculpture right before closing. I checked out the cafe. The cafe had a very interesting concept. I walked in to check it out and was stopped by one of the workers who was enjoying a meal at a long table outside the entry door, with the other workers.He explained the restaurant to me and recited each of the current items on the menu. Everything or nearly everything is locally sourced. The food is served family style at communal tables. Reservations are needed. They were totally booked that evening. The restaurant is fairly large. My husband and I could have had just a beverage while we were there but we declined.

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