Partners in Art To Sponsor Ai Weiwei Installation at The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)

Snake Ceiling to Appear in Advance of the Ai Weiwei: According to What? Exhibition Planned for the AGO for Summer 2013

Toronto, April 11, 2013

Partners in Art (PIA) – the volunteer-based, not-for-profit group of Toronto contemporary art supporters – announced today it has sponsored the installation of Ai Weiwei’s Snake Ceiling (2009) at the AGO. Ai Weiwei is a world-renowned Chinese contemporary artist, architect and activist.

“We are pleased to sponsor Ai Weiwei’s Snake Ceiling,” state PIA co-chairs Yvonne Fleck and Mimi Joh. “Sponsoring the installation in advance of the upcoming exhibition is an exciting opportunity for PIA. This installation represents Ai Weiwei’s provoking and politically charged work and demonstrates the vital role an independent philanthropic organization like PIA can take when advocating for contemporary art and artists.”

Beginning April 13th, Snake Ceiling (2009) will hang from the ceiling of the Margaret & Jim Fleck Gallery at the AGO to help promote the upcoming Ai Weiwei: According to What? exhibition, which is slated to appear at the AGO from August 17-October 27, 2013.

The AGO is the only Canadian stop on Ai Weiwei’s North American tour. Featuring photographs, sculpture, installation art and audio and video pieces, Ai Weiwei: According to What? will examine how the artist spotlights the complexities of a changing world and probes such issues as freedom of expression, individual and human rights, the power of digital communication and the range of creative practice that characterizes contemporary art today. The exhibition was organized by the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and curated by the museum’s chief curator, Mami Kataoka.

About Snake Ceiling (2009)

Snake Ceiling (2009) resembles a giant snake and is formed from commonly used student backpacks in various sizes. The backpacks represent a requiem for the students who were killed due to their poorly constructed schools during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

“PIA has lots to celebrate during its tenth anniversary year,” add Fleck and Joh. “As we look ahead to the next ten years, PIA plans to continue to build on its current work as well as undertake a greater role in advocacy, with a goal of influencing public policy around contemporary visual arts and supporting our cultural legacy both in Toronto and nationally.”

Media Contact(s):

Ethan Pigott, beSPEAK Communications, (416) 558-2783,


Eileen Tobey, beSPEAK Communications, 416-540-4047,