In the exhibition A Few Works from Ai Wei Wei, various materials, such as wood, tea, metal, or dust, tell various stories.
The video work Barely Something (2009) shows the names of 4851 schoolchildren who died in the earthquake in Sichuan (2008) in the ruins of their school buildings.
Ai Wei Wei: "Even dust can tell a story… If in the future architecture should be more about human dignity and humanity, then we have to learn to interpret the traces in the ruins properly. Then we will learn why the architecture that we thought was secure and that was supposed to protect us from the calamities of nature collapsed within seconds and destroyed so many human lives."
For the large format sculpture Dust to Dust, the artist also uses dust as his main material. Ai Wei Wei crushed pots and other vessels from the Neolithic Period, and then placed the fine powder into 30 glass vessels that he lined up in a shelf-like arrangement.
With the 2009 work Teahouse (180 x 120 x 180 cm), first shown at Tokyo's Mori Art Museum, the artist touches on questions of architecture in the context of nature. Using 432 cubes of pressed pu-erh tea, he constructed a sculpture of a house reduced to the outer surfaces standing in a fragrant field of tea, strongly reminiscent of Japanese Zen gardens.
The sculpture China Log, 340 centimeters in length, is made using the "iron wood" from the dismantled columns of temples from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The elements are arranged to leave behind an empty space shaped like the outlines of China (including Taiwan).
The exhibition, the artist's first solo show in Berlin, includes a total of 16 artworks from the years 1995 to 2009. This is the artist's first solo exhibition in Berlin.
On October 12, 2010, the exhibition The Unilveer Series: Ai Weiwei will begin at London's Tate Modern. The artist will have further exhibitions at Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing - Lucerne, Switzerland, and Galerie Christine König, Vienna, Austria.