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Dom Pedro Lisboa cultural offer: Accommodation and unprecedented exhibition by Ai Weiwei in Lisbon

Ai Weiwei ranks among the most influential and controversial figures in the world of contemporary art. Throughout the 21st century, he created a treasure trove of artwork, working on a variety of platforms, including sculpture and ceramics, installations, documentaries and cinema, architecture, photography and music. Most of these creations contain powerful political messages about human rights and democracy, which have brought him admiration and criticism in equal measure.

The socially critical content of his work led Ai Weiwei to 81 days of imprisonment in China, without formal charges, only with allegations of tax evasion, and his passport was apprehended until 2015, only then he was finally able to travel outside his home country.

But his political past started long before that. Born in Beijing in 1957, Ai Weiwei has always lived surrounded by the artistic universe. His father, Ai Qing, also an artist and poet, was already known in China and in the world for political activism and controversial creations.

At age one, Ai Weiwei accompanied his father to a labour camp to carry out forced labour in the countryside as a punishment for his criticisms of the Communist Party.

Rapture" by Ai Weiwei in Lisbon

Now, Portugal will have finally the great opportunity to get to know this contemporary artist and his work. Cordoaria Nacional, in Lisbon, will host an unprecedented exhibition by Ai Weiwei between June 4th and November 28th 2021.

Through "Rapture”, Ai Weiwei proposes to present the two creative dimensions of his life and work: reality and fantasy. As the exhibition’s curator, Marcello Dantas, explained, the concept behind "Rapture” focuses on the two dimensions of Ai Weiwei, the "artist-politician” and the "artist-spiritual”. Therefore, the exhibition will be presented in two wings of the Cordoaria Nacional, which intends to mirror exactly each of these dimensions.

Weiwei also brings to Lisbon some of his most iconic works, such as "Snake Ceiling” (2009), a large snake-shaped installation made up of hundreds of children's backpacks, in memory of the 5,000 students killed in the Sichuan earthquake, in 2008; and "Law of the Journey” (Prototype C) (2016), which consists of a 16-meter long inflatable boat with more than 300 faceless human figures and alludes to one of the most recurring themes in the artist's work: the global crisis of refugees.

On the other hand, in the wing that focuses on the mystical and spiritual dimension, Ai Weiwei explores his work as an "archaeologist of ancestral techniques”, as the curator explained. Ai Weiwei seeks to rescue local traditions and techniques by revisiting them and giving them a more contemporary look. This work of cultural archaeology is also one of the pillars of the artist's work, and for that reason the show will also feature original works produced in Portugal and inspired by Portuguese local artisanal traditions and techniques. 

Ai Weiwei has been established in Portugal for a few months and he is fascinated by the Portuguese local culture and craft, especially when it comes to the materials and techniques used in Portuguese ceramics and tiles, as well as works in cork and wood.

During the show at Cordoaria Nacional, there will also be a cycle of documentaries about Ai Weiwei’s life and work.

Dom Pedro Lisboa accommodation package and exhibition

Having your comfort in mind and in order to offer a good cultural experience to our guests, we have a special package for the "Rapture” exhibition by Ai Weiwei, which includes, among other things, accommodation at Dom Pedro Lisboa hotel and the ticket for the exhibition of the Chinese contemporary artist.

Dom Pedro Lisboa is a 5-star hotel and is conveniently located in the centre of Lisbon, just a few minutes drive away from Cordoaria Nacional and next to the main touristic attractions of Lisbon. Book your stay at the Dom Pedro Lisboa hotel and enjoy our accommodation package, which includes, a delicious breakfast, ticket for the Ai Weiwei exhibition, VIP treatment on arrival, upgrade to our Tower room, free parking and, late checkout.

Book today and enjoy an unforgettable stay and exhibition. Tickets for the show will be provided upon check-in at the hotel.

Ai Weiwei is a unique artist with a very new kind of visibility. Not only, he managed to transcend his artwork to become a worldly figure, but he also became for many a symbol of the assertion of freedom of expression. Using his prominent position and the recognition garnered by his art, Ai Weiwei has taken on issues that could not be raised publically in China.

Come and discover Ai Weiwei's magnificent artwork while (re)discovering the charms of Lisbon in total comfort and harmony at the Dom Pedro Lisboa hotel.

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