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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Colored Vases

Photo: Nathaniel Willson

Colored Vases


Ai Weiwei

Chinese, born 1957

The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei is known for provocative art that challenges the status quo. In this work, one from his iconoclastic oeuvre, he gathered a group of supposedly ancient earthenware vases and coated them with modern industrial paint. Covered with new paint, what is underneath—like history itself—is “no longer visible, but is still there.”
Ceramic with industrial paint
Dimensions variable; (approx. 17 x 22 in. each)
Robert M. Shields Fund for Asian Ceramics
Provenance: The artist, to 2013; [Mary Boone Gallery, New York, 2013]
Photo: Nathaniel Willson
Now on view at the Asian Art Museum


Published ReferencesUpchurch, Michael. "'Conceal/Reveal' at Seattle Asian Art Museum." Seattle Times, January 2, 2015,

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