Ai Weiwei made these two uncomfortable couches from marble

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Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Published on: Friday August 10, 2012

Last updated

Ai Weiwei created these two couches

It looks like somebody has misplaced two couches right in the center of Zürich, but curious passers looking for a rest will be surprised, the furniture feels hard and cold and doesn’t deliver the expected comfort. The Sofa in White are two artworks made out of marble, created by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

What the couches represent

For Art and the City, the largest outdoor exhibition of Switzerland, he placed The Sofa in White right in the financial district. The artworks look like a specific model of 1970s furniture, sold in millions especially to the Chinese middle class and turned into an icon of a generation, representing achievable modest wealth and comfort. Weiwei’s couches are handmade by Chinese craftsman using expensive marble. Each piece is 1.020 kg heavy.

The meaning of the place

They were installed in front of Credit Suisse, with UBS one of the two big banks that are situated at the Paradeplatz1 since the end of the 19th Century. This place is one of the world’s most expensive locations and became well known through international tv as almost every report about Swiss banks shows the Paradeplatz. Now it embodies the cliche of Swiss banks like no other and stands for money and gold, bank secrecy and money laundering and bonuses and financial crisis. The seatings are a symbol for globalization, a source of major profits for the Credit Suisse.

Photos

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

Ai Weiwei - Sofa in White, 2011, Zürich
Ai WeiweiSofa in White, 2011, Zürich

All images by Ai Weiwei & Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing – Lucerne/aatc.artandthecity.info

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  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradeplatz
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