Home » Posts tagged 'Beijing'

Tag Archives: Beijing

Ai Weiwei Exhibition at the Royal Academy – 19th September to 13th December 2015

weiwei

The Royal Academy of Arts have announced that they will present a landmark exhibition of the Honorary Royal Academician, Ai Weiwei.  Ai is one of China’s leading contemporary artists, he is probably best known in the UK for his Sunflower Seeds at the Tate Modern in 2010. The Royal Academy will present the first major survey of his artistic output. The exhibition will include significant works from 1993 onwards, the date that marks Ai Weiwei’s return to China following more than a decade living in New York. Ai Weiwei will create new, site-specific installations and interventions throughout the Royal Academy’s spaces.

sunseeds

When Ai returned to China in 1993, he began to bring influences from the East and West into his work, he also looked to the past  traditions and methods to produce artworks which include Table and Pillar, 2002, from his Furniture series, and Coloured Vases, 2015.

Sculptures such as Surveillance Camera, 2010 and Video Camera, 2010, examines modern technology and  a new artwork, Remains, 2015, will  be included in the exhibition. This work made in porcelain, replicates in meticulous detail a group of bones that were recently excavated at a site of a labour camp that operated under Chairman Mao in the 1950s.

One of the key installations within the exhibition will be Straight, 2008-12, part of the body of work related to the Sichuan earthquake of 2008. Fabricated from ninety tonnes of bent and twisted rebar (the steel rods used in the construction of reinforced concrete buildings), collected by the artist and straightened by hand, it is a  monument to the victims of the earthquake.

Ai was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in May 2011. This exhibition will follow a series of exhibitions at the Royal Academy which have featured some of the most significant living artists including Anish Kapoor, David Hockney and Anselm Kiefer.

Ai Weiwei has not been able to leave China since 2011 when his passport was confiscated. However the exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Ai,  The artist has virtually navigated the spaces from his studio in Beijing, through video footage of the galleries and architectural plans. The curators have also made regular visits to his studio.

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

 Exhibition

                 19 September –  13 December 2015

                   10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)

                        Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)

Tickets

£17.60 full price (£16 without Gift Aid donation); concessions available; children under 16 and Friends of the RA go free.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Review : Madame Tussauds London

DSCN0711

It might be a surprise to many people that Madame Tussauds has a long history in London, although the attractions origins were in France it has entertained people in London for over 200 years.

Madame Tussauds was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud who was taught in the 1770s the art of wax modelling by Dr Philippe Curtius in Switzerland. Tussaud created her first wax sculpture, of Voltaire, in 1777. During the French Revolution she modelled many of the victims, alledgedly searching for severed heads to make death masks. In 1802 she came to London and then traveled throughout Great Britain and Ireland exhibiting her collection. From 1831 she leased a part of a building in Baker Street which became Tussaud’s first permanent home in 1836.

Although there were a number of famous people in the exhibition, the most popular attraction was the Chamber of Horrors which included figures of victims of the French Revolution, murderers and other famous criminals.  The success of the attraction led to a move to the present larger premises in 1884, in the 20th century Madame Tussauds  survived a major fire in 1925 and bomb damage in 1940.

If the main attraction for a long part of Madame Tussauds history was the Chamber of Horrors, in more recent times it has concentrated more on celebrities. It is often a measure of your popularity as a celebrity if you have a figure in Madame Tussauds as the attraction continually add figures that reflect contemporary public opinion.

DSCN0626

However the attraction has made significant recent changes by getting rid of the roped off areas and letting visitors get close to the models for photographs, there is an updated Horror section, a London ride and  Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie experience!

DSCN0618

The Attraction begins with a large number of familiar faces including Brad Pitt, Angelia Jolie, Patrick Stewart, Nicole Kidman and many others on the red carpet and some of the  well known names in Indian cinema.

DSCN0634

The movie section includes  icons such as Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Audrey Hepburn  and Arnold ‘Terminator’ Schwarzenegger.

DSCN0658

Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Tiger Woods, Tom Daley and Lewis Hamilton are just some of sports stars and there is a special section paying homage to Bobby Moore and the England 1966 World Cup win .

DSCN0669

You can have a slightly surreal audience with The Queen with the rest of the Royal Family.

DSCN0671

The cultural icons is a diverse selection that includes Einstein, Van Gogh and Stephen Hawking.

DSCN0685

You can see Boris Johnson and David Cameron outside Downing Street and Barack Obama in his White House Office. Other leaders include Churchill, Nelson Mandela and rather strangely Adolf Hitler.

SCREAM-Actors

The Chamber of Horrors  entitled Scream offers scary models and live actors,  The premise is a  maximum security prison has been taken over by its inmates. It is considered so scary it is only suitable persons of 12 years and older, its not considered suitable for pregnant women or visitors with heart conditions or high blood pressures.

To calm down there is then a short ride in a small black  cab through a variety of scenes that illustrate London’s history.

The final section is populated with Marvel Super Heroes including a huge Incredible Hulk, you then enter the small cinema  to experience a 10 minute 4D Marvel Super Heroes movie experience that provides a few thrills and spills that offers a few surprises for the audience.

DSCN0698

It may seem strange that in a time of computer graphic animation that an attraction of waxwork figures would still be popular, but over the last 200 years Madame Tussauds have had their finger on the pulse  of what’s popular and provide entertainment based on that, for example in May 2015 there will be a new feature that includes Star Wars scenes. Star Wars at Madame Tussauds will be featuring 16 of the most famous heroes and villains in scenes from some of the most iconic moments featured in Star Wars Episodes.

The nature of the entertainment means it is especially popular amongst young people, however it is not really aimed at very young children. It is essentially an attraction that provides a series of mini attractions  and concentrates on providing fun and enjoyment without taking itself too seriously. If anything  the age of the ‘selfie’ has added to its attraction where you can now get close to the models.

Madame Tussauds is not only popular in London, there are branches all over the world with new ones due to be opened in Beijing, Prague, Singapore, Orlando and San Francisco.

VLG Tips – Madame Tussauds is part of the Merlin Entertainment group which also owns the London Eye, London Dungeon and Sea Life Aquarium. If you intend to visit more than one of their attractions buying a combination ticket can offer large discounts. 

Visiting London Guide Rating – Recommended

If you would like further information or to buy tickets, visit the Madame Tussauds website here.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here