Art And Culture

Ai Weiwei on Refugee Crisis

Ai Weiwei on Refugee CrisisAi Weiwei on Refugee Crisis

An enormous exhibition by Chinese activist and contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, 60, designed to draw attention to the world’s refugee crisis, is going on view at 300 sites around New York city.

‘Good Fences Make Good Neighbors’, presented by the Public Art Fund, opens to the public today until February 11, 2018, ABC News reported.

A global trend of “trying to separate us by color, race, religion, nationality” is a blow “against freedom, against humanity,” Ai said at a Manhattan press conference Tuesday. “That’s why I made a work related to this issue.”

Now based in Berlin, Ai spent his childhood in a remote Chinese community after his father, a poet, was exiled by Communist authorities. He came to New York as an art student in the 1980s, and then returned to his homeland in 1993, using his art and public platform to address political issues. He was alternately encouraged, tolerated and harassed, spending time in detention and being barred for years from leaving the country.

Since his passport was reinstated in 2015, Ai and his team have traveled to 23 countries and territories and more than 40 refugee camps while making a documentary “Human Flow.”

The New York exhibition will include three large-scale projects and ancillary works throughout the city. Ai expressed a special affinity for Manhattan’s Lower East Side, his former home.

Art will be incorporated onto flagpoles, bus shelters, lampposts, newsstands and rooftops. Banners will bear portraits of immigrants from different periods, including historic pictures from Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay. There also will be images from Ai’s “Human Flow” projects.

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