Discussion Questions: Ai Weiwei’s Colored Vases

Ai Weiwei, Colored Vases (detail), 2007; collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, promised gift to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; © Ai Weiwei

  1. What was the first thing you noticed about this work of art? Why do you think you noticed that first?
  2. This work is made out of historic pots that have been painted by the artist. How does the choice of materials contribute to your reaction to the piece?
  3. How does this work compare to your expectations of what a work of art should be, or should look like?
  4. If this work is the artists half of a conversation with you, what would you say back to the artist?
  5. The artist has said: “by changing the meaning of the object, shaking its foundation, we are also changing our own condition. We can question what we are.” What do these pots say about who we are today?

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