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Studio Cats: Andy Warhol Ai WeiWei for Kids at NGV

Home > Melbourne > Art | Exhibitions | Free | Fun for Children | Galleries
by EricaL (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Editor of:
Published December 10th 2015
Interactive Art Exhibition Dedicated to Feline Friends
The hugely anticipated Andy Warhol / Ai WeiWei art exhibition opened at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) on 11 December 2015.

Andy Warhol Ai WeiWei
Andy Warhol Ai WeiWei

The blockbuster collaboration sees the works of the late Warhol, presented alongside past and present creations by acclaimed Chinese Contemporary artist and activist Ai WeiWei.

The inspiring public display begins in the foyer of the NGV, where you will see Ai Weiwei's Forever Bicycles installation. Nearly 1500 bicycles make up the magnificent statuesque piece. In front of the NGV's wall of water, you can admire the sparkles of a five metre-tall work from WeiWei's Chandelier series of crystal and light.

WeiWei's Chandelier
WeiWei's Chandelier

The epic collaborative spectacle continues throughout NGV's ground floor gallery space. Warhol's work is instantly recognisable, but it is Ai Wei Wei who takes you on a completely new journey. WeiWei's artwork is emotionally driven, thought provoking, filled with beauty, humour and a helluva lot of talent. WeiWei's Lego portraits and 'Grapes' can't go without a mention.

Ai WeiWei 'Grapes' put together with Qing Dynasty wooden stools
Ai WeiWei 'Grapes' put together with Qing Dynasty wooden stools

NGV Kids plays host to another important segment of the Warhol / WeiWei collaboration. NGV Kids, is a gallery space specially developed for exhibitions and programs designed for children. Usually, NGV Kids' displays are somewhat autonomous, and commission a different artist to those chosen for international exhibitions. You may have enjoyed previous displays; Open House: Tromarama for Kids and Express Yourself: Romance Was Born).

This time however, the Warhol / WeiWei collaboration reaches out to the younger folk, too. NGV Kids has become Studio Cats: Andy Warhol Ai WeiWei for Kids.

Why cats?

Why not! Any Warhol and Ai WeiWei share a love for all things feline. Both artists might be considered crazy-cat-men. Warhol once lived in a New York apartment with 20 cats, and WeiWei's studio houses more than 30 kitty's. It therefore seems only fitting to see a gallery space dedicated to all things cat.

Cat tail swivel chairs
Cat tail swivel chairs

In the room-of-cat, your kids can create their very own cat memes using WeiWei's images of cats and clever captions. Such creations are executed on cat-eared computer screens, whilst your kids are perched on swivel chairs with furry tails attached.

Cat computer screens
Cat computer screens

In another fun multimedia get-up, you can Warhol yourself in a video featuring a cartoon cat telling you which poses perform. The end Warhol-esque piece, inspired by the artist's self-portrait pop art, can be shared with your family and friends.

Warhol Portrait
Warhol yourself

Block building keeps the little ones busy. Warhol's 1960's American packaging box art becomes a play activity. Your wee ones can build block towers with Brillo Soap Pads boxes.

Warhol box art
Seen in Warhol / Ai WeiWei exhibition

Other exhibition highlights include a mini movie theatre complete with furry floor cushions. Sit back and enjoy a short film all about ... cats; filmed at Ai WeiWei's Beijing studio.

Wall displays see rarely seen photographs of Warhol interacting with his feline friends, and original drawings by Warhol's 1954 book 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy The room to the right is decorated in wallpaper printed with Warhol's hand-coloured cat drawings. Holy Cats a 1960's small-press publication by Andy Warhol's Mother Julia Warhola can also be seen within the Studio Cats exhibit.

The Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei Exhibition incurs an entry fee (more here), however, Studio Cats: Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei for Kids is FREE for all to enjoy. On until 24 April 2016 at NGV International, Ground Level. Open 10am 5pm daily.
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Why? Free and lots of fun
When: 11 December 2015 - 24 April 2016
Phone: (03) 8620 2222
Where: NGV International (Ground Level) St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Cost: FREE
Your Comment
I heard an ad for this on the radio this morning and hadn't realised until I read your article, just how intiguing the exhibition is.
by betty (score: 2|544) 1503 days ago
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