There couldn’t be a better exhibition to inaugurate the new Perez Art Museum Miami than the traveling solo retrospective from the famous Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Like the museum, Ai Weiwei: According To What? is monumental — physically huge, with a lot to say, and important for Miami.
Contemporary Chinese art has been a hot commodity for more than a decade, but even within this crowded field Ai Weiwei has stood out. He was a founding member of the first avant-garde art group in China, called Stars, in the 1970s, and has since then worked in sculpture, photography, architecture — and political activism. The latter pursuit, particularly his intense criticism of the Chinese government and its corruption after the massive Szechuan earthquake, led to his arrest in 2011. As a result, Ai was not at PAMM to install his show; though his art is allowed to leave China, he is not.