Ai Weiwei's Fantastic Art

Ai Weiwei's Fantastic Art

As I wrap up my seventh week in Washington, it’s hard to believe I’m almost halfway through my time here. If I were to go back and skim the blogs I’ve already written, I wouldn’t be able to believe everything I’ve accomplished since I’ve been down here. I can’t even begin to stress how fortunate Washington Center scholars are to be here in the capital of the United States during the time of such an exciting presidential election.  There is no escaping a discussion about Romney and Obama.


I’ve become completely immersed in politics. I’m actually considering taking Political Science as a second major when I go back to school because what was just my desire to be socially and politically aware has now really developed into a passion. I’ve watched every presidential debate, and also the vice presidential one. I was even asked by a lobbyist at my office to write-up two of the debates for co-workers who may have not been able to watch them. I enjoy political analysis and discovering new views that I never imagined I’d align with. I never used to, and this changed when I began to actually listen to an alternative perspective. Obviously, in Washington, politics comes with the territory, and it’s really difficult to try and hide from them. Do not come to Washington if you don’t want to learn more about your country and foreign policy. Alternatively, if you do, then D.C. is for you.


The company that I am interning with apparently has a corporate relationship with the Smithsonian Institute, so I was able to tag along on a private tour of a new exhibit at the sculpture gallery. It was an exhibit by Ai Weiwei, who is a very controversial artist from China. A lot of his work is based on politics and cultural criticism, but most is just beautiful. During our time at the museum, we were lucky enough to be given a fantastic guided tour of the exhibit by a PhD student from University of California-Berkley who is studying Ai Weiwei for her degree. She gave us some wonderful background on the artist. I had three favorite exhibits from the tour. The first one was two identical buckets full of real pearls. The way the light in the room hit the circumference of the bins, the pearls on top would reflect different shades, and then shadows would take over and the reflection would get darker and darker as you looked into the bucket. The second was a bunch of porcelain crabs that were spilled on the floor, almost to signify a chaotic mob.  The last and final exhibit that I really enjoyed was a giant square chandelier that almost took up the entire area of the room that it was in  It was bright and cast all sorts of different shades of red into the vicinity.


This past weekend my roommate and a few others decided to play soccer at the National Mall, which is not a mall at all, but rather a knoll filled with national monuments. I opted out of the game because I was having a bit of difficulty with my ankle and I didn’t want to hurt anything, so I ended up watching and lying on the grass. It was a beautiful day. After the game was over, my friends and I decided to venture to Georgetown to do a little afternoon shopping. We took the closest metro and decided to walk from there.  Now, normally, I wouldn’t think a big escalator was worth talking about in a blog, but the size of this one was gigantic. We were probably travelling upwards for a solid four or five minutes just waiting to reach the top.


After we shopped, my roommates and I returned back to the Residential and Academic Facility, freshened up, and met our friend and her dad at a restaurant in DuPont Circle for some late night appetizers and the Yankees game. Being a Red Sox fan from Boston, I have to say I’m secretly glad they finished up where they did, but we won’t get into that right now. The game we watched was great, and it ended up being a nice cap to a stellar day.


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