The Hallstatt culture, an important prehistoric culture in Central Europe, left behind impressive archaeological finds. The exhibition shows a selection of these discoveries, including pottery, jewellery, weapons and tools from the collections of the Upper Austrian Provincial Museum, which give visitors an insight into the life and culture of the Hallstatt period.
The exhibition presents these objects not only as historical artefacts, but also as a link to our ancestors and a source of inspiration for contemporary art. The archaic artworks by Ai Weiwei, in display cases specially designed by him, complement the collection in an ingenious way. The result is an exciting dialogue that raises questions about identity, tradition and human heritage.
In the Imperial Park, a captivating encounter unfolds between the Marble Palace and an original Chinese temple, while the monumental Zodiac Heads by Ai Weiwei enter into a dialogue with the Imperial Villa. Ai Weiwei’s Zodiac Heads are a reinterpretation of the fountain figures that once stood in front of the imperial summer palace in Beijing and were destroyed during the First Opium War (1839-1842). Now they are back at a fountain flanking the summer residence of Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I in Bad Ischl, where he signed the declaration of war on Serbia that was to lead to a global tragedy.
Despite the differences between the two cultures, the juxtaposition makes it clear how closely they are connected.