I’ve been wondering how the archetype of Saturn in Pisces will be expressed through the arts and any creative pursuit. Perhaps through fashion or film. I didn’t have to wait long after the transit to see a great example.
Ai Weiwei is an internationally renowned Chinese contemporary artist, activist, poet and photographer (well known for his criticism of the Chinese government and it’s human rights record, often conveying his political ideas through his artwork).
He has a new exhibition opening in April called ‘Making Sense’ with a particular piece that caught my attention this month as a beautiful embodiment of the current Saturn in Pisces transit. I’ve already written about a couple of times in my blog ( Saturn in Pisces, and Saturn in Pisces Through the Lens of Tarot (Eight of Cups ), and one of the expressions of this transit I mentioned were the Piscean qualities of creativity and imagination being given expression through concrete forms. Ai Weiwei’s new artwork ‘Water Lilies #1’ encapsulates this.
He’s reproduced one of Claude Monet’s well known impressionist paintings of a water lily pond, the triptych ‘Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond’. However, rather than use the wet medium of paint, he’s created this piece using Lego – 650,000 pieces to be precise.
Due to copyright reasons I can’t show images of the artwork here but you can see it on the Design Museum website, and close ups on CNN (links at the bottom of this page), so I encourage you to check those out.
This is Monet’s original triptych:
Ai Weiweis’ work to me is a wonderful representation of the imagination, creativity and water element of Pisces, embodied as Monet’s artwork and subject matter, filtered through the more grounded, structured and solid form of Lego bricks, just as Saturn can give form and structure to the creative and emotional expression of Pisces. The press release states that it ‘’Challenges our ideas of reality and beauty” and quotes Ai Weiwei’s statement about the piece:
In Water Lilies #1 I integrate Monet’s Impressionist painting, reminiscent of Zenism in the East, and concrete experiences of my father and me into a digitized and pixelated language. Toy bricks as the material, with their qualities of solidity and potential for deconstruction, reflect the attributes of language in our rapidly developing era where human consciousness is constantly dividing.“Ai Weiwei, The Design Museum Press Release, 2023
Monet’s much loved paintings water lily paintings (there were approximately 250 of them) convey scenes of tranquillity and beauty. But Ai Weiwei has added a darker note, with themes of exile, seclusion and hardship, by including a ‘dark portal’ on ones side, referencing a time in his childhood when he was in exile with his father. Saturn has long been associated with exile, hiding and hardship, and echoes the potentially difficult emotions and darker realms that Saturn in Pisces can symbolise.
The vast, endless and expansive nature of Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces, is evident through the sheer scale of Ai Weiwei’s piece, which is nearly fifty feet wide. Monet is quoted as having said that his water lily series were meant to give “the illusion of an endless whole, of water without horizon or bank”.
- Design Museum Press release https://designmuseum.org/asset/download?id=7daef9cf-db92-4fca-94c8-dcec552cc2c3
- Ai Weiwei ‘Making Sense’ exhibition: https://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/ai-weiwei-making-sense
- CNN article: https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/ai-weiwei-design-museum-lego-monet/index.html