Dragons and seven-headed creatures created by Ai Weiwei have taken flight inside Paris’ Le Bon Marché.
The artist took cues from popular Chinese legends called Shan Hai Jing for the exhibition – titled Er Xi, or ‘child’s play’ – which kicked off over the weekend.
Made from bamboo and paper, mythical creatures from these tales roam around the gallery, atrium and window displays of the 19th-century building, said to be the world’s first department store.
The setting enables Ai Weiwei to reach out to a new audience – ‘one which doesn’t come for art in principle,’ he explains.
‘This experience also allows me to find a new way to conceive an exhibition, with constraints that are different from a museum’s or a gallery’s. Exploring new potentials is an integral part of my work as an artist.’
The woven bamboo dragon’s structure echoes the space’s interior columns, while the creature’s panelled forms mirror the panels of the ceiling. Sculptures of other mythological creatures have taken over the store’s atrium, while two-dimensional bamboo figures fill its window displays.
Er Xi at Le Bon Marché runs until 20 February.