forever bicycle 8

Melbourne March 2016 (11 photos)

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

forever bicycle 5

You say black, I say white
You say bark, I say bite
You say shark, I say hey man
Jaws was never my scene
And I don’t like Star Wars

forever bicycle 1

You say Rolls, I say Royce
You say God, give me a choice
You say Lord, I say Christ
I don’t believe in Peter Pan
Frankenstein or Superman
All I wanna do is

forever bicycle 3

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my

forever bicycle 4

Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties, oh yeah!
Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today
So look out for those beauties, oh yeah

On your marks.
Get set.

forever bicycle 2

Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle bicycle bicycle bicycle
(I want a)
Bicycle race

forever bicycle 11

You say coke, I say caine
You say John, I say Wayne
Hot dog, I say cool it man
I don’t wanna be the President of America

forever bicycle 7

You say smile, I say cheese
Cartier, I say please
Income tax, I say Jesus
I don’t wanna be a candidate
For Vietnam or Watergate
‘Cause all I want to do is

forever bicycle 10

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle bicycle (c’mon) bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

forever bicycle 9

One has to love the harmony in the voices in this song, as well as the harmony of this sculpture.

The sculpture, “Forever Bicycles 2015” by Chinese artist Ai weiwei is currently on display at the National Gallery of Victoria until April 22, 2016. A major new installation designed specifically for the NGV, it is composed from over 1500 bicycles, and has been installed as part of the Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei exhibition.

This sculpture is based on the Forever bicycle, a popular brand that has been mass-produced in China since the 1940s and gave many Chinese a sense of freedom and autonomy. When Ai Weiwei was growing up, a Forever Bicycle was a luxury to him. One bike symbolised the freedom to move. The brand itself meant status, the best of the best.

Max Delany, the senior curator of contemporary art, said this was the largest international contemporary show ever held at the gallery, and covered the entire ground floor of the building.

“Andy Warhol was one of the most consequential artists of the 20th century, often spoken of as the American century, the century of modernity,” he said.

“[Whereas] Ai Weiwei is an artist of what has often been postulated as the Chinese century to come, and an artist of our contemporary times.”

Mr Delany said the artists have both had enormous significance and explored many similar ideas through their work.

“Ai’s work deals with some of the most critical global issues of the 21st century, including the relationship between tradition and modernity, the role of the individual and the state, questions of human rights, and the value of freedom of expression,” he said.

(sources: ABC news and SMH)

“Bicycle Race” is a single by the British rock band Queen. It was released on their 1978 album Jazz and written by Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. It was released as a double A-side single together with the song “Fat Bottomed Girls”. The song is notable for its video featuring 65 naked women, all professional models, racing at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. It was filmed by Dennis de Vallance. The group rented the stadium and several dozen bikes for one day for filming the scene; however, when the renting company became aware of the way their bikes were used, they requested that the group purchase all the bicycle seats. The original video uses special effects to hide the nudity.

forever bicycle 6

Other Queen songs to have been given the Draco treatment, include:

I want to break free
Bohemian Rhapsody
Another one bites the dust

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

I want to ride my bicycle


102 thoughts on “I want to ride my bicycle

  1. Never knew the group had to purchase all the bike seats. But if they refused to purchase them, I’m guessing the company might have given them away for free…

    Beautiful shots of the bicycle exhibit, and love the different perspetives. It is certainly a fascinating piece of art. When I was checking it out last month, there was a security guard standing around it and was chasing people away from passing right underneath it.

    • The guards allowed people to walk under the main arch of the sculpture, I even walked and talked to a guard there, but not through the side on gaps – you can see the white tape marks on the floor as a boundary. Also you weren’t supposed to spin the wheels. πŸ˜‰
      Finding the right angle and light was important for photography here.

  2. What an installation, and so finely (and harmoniously) documented, Draco. On a serious note, those of us raised in nations where the motor car rules, probably don’t appreciate the impact of bicycle ownership on the earning power of many peoples around the world. The Chinese of course exported their bicycles to Africa, where to own a bicycle was, and is a mark of some success. When we lived in Kenya bicycle taxis were a ‘big’ small business – goods or a passenger packed onto the rear parcel shelf (ladies riding ‘side-saddle’ of course). It was particularly arresting to see red robed Maasai warriors whizzing along bush trails. They made their chunky Chinese bikes look uber-cool.

  3. I love the SHINE of those wheels. That’s quite a tribute to this mode of transportation, both by Weiwei and yourself, Mr. Dragon. My faves are the photos of the people at the end of the tunnels.

    • Thank you. I remember being in Shanghai in the early 1980’s, when the bike was king. This sculpture reminds me of the traffic. πŸ™‚
      This sculpture is highly organised or disorganised, depending on how you look at it.

  4. Reminds me, for some reason, of the lyrics to the song: “I’ve got brand new pair of roller skates. You’ve got a brand new key..” anyway that’s how I remember it. Tune is fun and loopy. This art is out there for sure and deserving of a song!

  5. I am a huge fan of the humble bike and I find this installation just mesmerising. I love how you have taken the time to wander round from all angles, it is as though we are there with you. Thank you for sharing this with us. I knew your artists eye would find us some amazing sights/sites in Melbourne

    • Mostly, the exhibit and museum are only open during the day, but I believe the museum stays open late on Friday nights. I don’t recall seeing any elaborate lighting setup around the sculpture, so I suspect it’s mostly the usual museum lights. Having said that, sunset in Melbourne doesn’t occur until about 8pm so there’s not much need for special lighting for one night only.

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  7. What a wonderful series of pictures of the bicycle sculpture. I love the different perspectives. I am, however, not familiar with that Queen song, and it may motivate me to go and look it up!

  8. I have never seen so many bicycles in my life – what a stunning piece of art! πŸ™‚ I can’t imagine how it was all put together – painstaking I guess! Must be quite a feeling walking under those bicycles and looking up. Well done for getting some great shots. You must have had to stand back a long way, unless you had a very wide lens?

    That song Bicycle Race sends me back to my teenage bedroom and playing my brothers large collection of Queen albums. Funny thing is though, I don’t remember the naked women in the video. I’m guessing that’s because they wouldn’t have shown it on ‘Top Of The Pops’ which in the 70’s was the only avenue for watching music videos on TV. I’m sure they refused to show that and probably had the usual collection of half naked sexy dancers to fill the spot if Queen weren’t actually on the show, known as ‘Pan’s People’ and later ‘Legs and Co. That was clean family viewing!! πŸ˜€

    I can kind of understand the bicycle company not wanting those seats returned. It’s a funny thought, but…mm, what else can you suggest?!!

    • Thanks, I was truly impressed at this artwork. I walked through and around it numerous times before seeing the rest of the exhibition. I also immediately wondered how it was assembled and to be disassembled. I would actually liked to have watched that being done. I knew how big this was beforehand, so I used a zoom lens for this outing.

      I’m pretty sure the video was edited in most countries it played in. It would have been a sight to see being filmed. The bike company did the right thing. Imagine being the next customer? πŸ˜‰

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