One of our learning opportunities this week was to view the Ai Weiwei Zodiac Heads Exhibit at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. If you are not familiar with Ai Weiwei, take a moment to learn about him.
In the video, Ai Weiwei is quoted as saying, “To be yourself. To be outside the system. This is the most dangerous but also meaningful act for a person to take.” It took awhile for us to really dissect that statement. As we were driving we talked about how it relates to what we are doing. We considered the “dangers” or consequences of our choice to road school and travel. We discussed whether or not that choice is inside or outside the system. And then the boys were able to relate our situation to the ways in which Ai Weiwei takes risks outside his system every day. We concluded that we are both inside and outside the system as we road school because it is a choice that is offered to us. We also found that our risks are decidedly less costly than his. The Zodiac Heads have traveled the globe. This was an amazing opportunity to see an international exhibit in such an intimate setting. We learned about the Chinese Zodiac Symbols and the lore behind their significance. We are rat, tiger, rooster and pig. One boy was super excited to share all the things he learned about China when he was in first grade.
Some felt more comfortable with this exhibit than others. It gave us a chance to talk about how we like to experience an art exhibit. As we sat on the wooden benches and rocks provided for viewing, we took in the traditional Chinese music playing in the background. We sat patiently and waited for others to remove themselves from the art. We thought about respect, personal space and awareness of others. We made notes in the back of our minds about our own successes and failures in this way.