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MOUNTAINS AND SEAS
PLAY

The Shanhaijing, or Classic of Mountains and Seas, is an ancient text dating back to the 4th century BC, an important record of mythology, geography, culture, and the societal structure of the time. The mythological creatures depicted in the Shanhaijing reflected the imagination of the people and the language used to communicate ideas larger than their own understanding. MOUNTAINS AND SEAS is a work that depicts these creatures alongside other myths and symbols related to man’s understanding of life and death.

Video edited by Cui Xing

Quotes:
We cross the same mountains; we cross the same rivers.
– Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist (b. 1957)

Music Credit:
Puccini’s “Turandot” performed by the Teatro dell’Opera Rome
CONDUCTOR Pinchas Steinberg
DIRECTOR Roberto De Simone
REVIVAL DIRECTOR Mariano Bauduin
CHORUS MASTER Roberto Gabbiani
SETS Nicola Rubertelli
COSTUMES Odette Nicoletti
LIGHTING Agostino Angelini

TURANDOT Evelyn Herlitzius
CALAF Marcello Giordani
LIU Carmela Remigio
TIMUR Roberto Tagliavini
PING Simone Del Savio
PONG Saverio Fiore
PANG Gregory Bonfatti
ALTOUM Chris Merritt
MANDARINO Gianfranco Montresor

ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO DELLOPERA

Artworks.
Shanhaijing, 2016

Classic of Mountains and Seas illustration of a nine-headed phoenix (colored Qing dynasty edition)
Shanhaijing, 2016

“The hybrid creatures of the Shanhaijing, that the artist chose to reinterpret, rocked his imagination and that of many other Chinese children. The book (also called the Classic of Mountains and Seas) included imaginary tales that have been passed down from one generation to another for over 2000 years. Ai Weiwei’s affinity with the heritage and traditions of his country is apparent in many of his works. The materials and techniques used by Ai Weiwei bind the exhibition together. The works presented are hand-made using traditional Chinese kite-making methods. The bamboo is cut, folded and curved to create the structures then covered in silk paper. One of his feats is to present a contemporary style and look with new shapes and designs based on centuries-old inspirations and savoir-faire. Paradoxically, the fragility and delicacy of the technique give strength and power to the finished works.”