S.A.C.R.E.D. is a six-part sculptural installation by renowneed Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei presenting stationary scenes from his publicly reported 81-day incarceration in 2011. At the time of his arrest and imprisonment in China, details of the artist's whereabouts were scarce as the public demanded answers. Being an active social media user worked in the artist's advantage. The public's eye on his status and pressures on the Chinese government to release him allowed Weiwei to return to civilization, though he refrained from talking about his confinement on any social platforms.
Now, nearly two years since his release, Ai shares his life in prison through a set of large-scale dioramas that visitors of the 2013 Venice Art Biennale can peer in on through carefully placed windows and doors. The six boxes reveal different scenes of humiliation the artist faced during his detainment. The sculptures include a figure in Ai's resemblance who is constantly accompanied by officers, whether he is sleeping, eating, or even showering.
Though Ai is not allowed to leave China to see his own exhibition, his mother Gao Ying traveled to Venice to represent her son at the opening of S.A.C.R.E.D., which is part of the artist's larger exhibition titled Disposition.