Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Outdoors on the Plaza Floor Plan
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s monumental outdoor installation showcases twelve 10-foot-tall bronze animal heads representing the signs of the Chinese zodiac. Placed around the perimeter of the fountain in the museum’s central plaza, these sculptures are re-envisioned and enlarged versions of the original 18th-century heads that were designed during the Qing dynasty for the fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Garden of Perfect Brightness), an imperial retreat outside Beijing, which were pillaged in 1860 by invading Europeans. This installation complements Perspectives: Ai Weiwei (May 12, 2012-April 7, 2013) at the Sackler Gallery of Art and Ai Weiwei: According to What? (October 4, 2012-February 24, 2013) at the Hirshhorn Museum.