Culture / Art Republik

The Death of Marat

He Xiangyu creates a sculpture of dissident artist Ai Wei Wei’s corpse

Jun 18, 2014 | By Staff Writer

Chinese artist He Xiangyu created a life-size fiberglass sculpture of dissident artist Ai Wei Wei’s corpse lying contorted face down on the ground. The title of the work ‘The Death of Marat’ refers to the 18th century portrait by Jaques-Louis David of the French revolutionary leader murdered in his bath. In a similar vein, He’s work reflects the political persecution of progressive thinkers and artists who have been silenced and imprisoned; hence, the choice to use Ai, most well-known for his openly critical stance against the Chinese government. Ai has become a symbol of the struggle for human rights in China. When the work was displayed in a small German town, the incredibly life-like sculpture caused panic as passers-by mistook the artwork for an actual corpse.

He Xiangyu Sculpts Ai Weiwei Face Down On The Floor Designboom 06

The Death Of Mara

The Death Of Marat 1

The Death Of Marat 2

Photos from Designboom

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