Video feature: Visually capturing the installation of Ai Weiwei sculptures on campus

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The sculpture group "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is on display outside Robertson Hall. A video compiled from hundreds of time-lapse photographs shows the work that went into  assembling the bronzes, which on their pedestals stand 10 feet high.

Photos by Denise Applewhite

How do you capture the work it takes to install 12 dramatic sculptures depicting the Chinese zodiac? When "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was set up on Scudder Plaza on the Princeton campus on July 30 and 31, a photography crew recorded a series of time-lapse sequences of the installation from more than 50 angles with three cameras, some of them firing simultaneously. In all, the cameras took 3,315 images. 

Editors selected several hundred of the images and compiled a three-minute video showing the progression from the empty plaza in front of Robertson Hall to the completed installation of Ai's bronze animal heads mounted on slender columns. Each piece is about 10 feet tall.

"Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads" has been shown around the world in cities including Sao Paulo, London, Los Angeles and Taipei. The sculptures have been loaned to the University by the family of an alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous. The sculptures, sponsored by the Princeton University Art Museum and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will be on display until Aug. 1, 2013.

For more information on the exhibition, go to Ai Weiwei at Princeton.