This story is over 5 years old.


Ai Weiwei's "Cube Light" Can Even Make The Hirshhorn Museum Look Small

Weiwei’s extravagant chandelier will be on display at the Hirshhorn Museum until late February, as a part of the exhibit, “According to What?”

Ai Weiwei hardly needs an introduction. For decades, his work has heckled, beaten, and ultimately overtaken the art world’s conventional boundaries, making room for a generation of critical, and often times angry artists whose work has likewise broken ground. But Weiwei’s satirical-rebel attitude, which can be seen quite clearly in his recent Gangnam Style parody, seems much more subtle in his chandelier installation, “Cube Light,” which is drawing viewers from all over to the Hirshhorn Museum in DC, where it will be on display until the end of February.


The giant chandelier, which actually hangs from the ceiling, is made up of a cubical grid of metal tubing. Thousands of small crystals hang between the viewers standing outside of the cube and an internal light source. The light shines outward through the crystals, projecting a glistening sheen of extravagance all over the exhibit walls. To be sure, the installation doesn’t reek of rebellion like some of his other works, such as his Coca-Cola inscribed Han Dynasty urn. However, the grandiose chandelier will surely match a few necklaces and wristwatches parading through the Hirshhorn in the next few months, which, depending on who you ask, may point towards a more contemplative, though equally rebellious message.

Cube Light (2008) Image source

Cube Light (2008), Image source

Cube Light (2008), Image source

Beads that make up the crystal facade, Image source