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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Enormous New Ai Weiwei Mural in Chile Honors Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda

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Ai Weiwei has gone big — really big — for his first project in Latin America, creating a mural painting nearly 10,000 square feet in size that wraps the entire façade of a former jail-turned-cultural center in the Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, an arts park and center in the Chilean port city where Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda (to whom the mural is dedicated) lived.

The mural, which is part of the exhibition “Of Bridges and Borders,” shows the Senkaku Islands, over which Japan and China have long fought, along with an excerpt from a poem by Ai Qing, the artist’s father, who was a friend of Neruda’s, the AFP reports.

Titled “A Pablo” (or “To Pablo”), the epically proportioned painting features a verse from Ai Qing’s “Cabo de Chile,” which he dedicated to Neruda, who died in 1973, two years after receiving the Nobel Prize for literature.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo via Parque Cultural de Valparaiso/Facebook.)

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