Ai Weiwei’s Lego and alpaca obsessions, explained

The Washington Post
By: Sadie Dingfelder 
Photo: Courtesy of The Washington Post

Original content from The Washington Post.

Ai is also interested in internet censorship, social media and government surveillance — three themes emphasized by a wallpaper he created that encircles the Hirshhorn installation of “Trace,” Chiu says. Called “The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca,” the wallpaper features repeating images of surveillance cameras, the Twitter bird logo and an alpaca icon that represents the fight against internet censorship in China.

“I think what he’s saying with the title [of the wallpaper] is that you may think you know what you’re seeing, but there’s a secondary meaning that you have to look closer to get,” Chiu says.

The alpaca featured in Ai Weiwei’s wallpaper piece, “The Plain Version of the Animal That Looks Like a Llama but Is Really an Alpaca,” isn’t your average ungulate.

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