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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Ai Weiwei Is Setting Up Fences Around New York to Draw Attention to the Refugee Crisis

Shining a spotlight on a global issue, the artist's latest project features more than 300 sites across five boroughs.
By Libby Curran
October 12, 2017
  shares

Ai Weiwei Is Setting Up Fences Around New York to Draw Attention to the Refugee Crisis

Shining a spotlight on a global issue, the artist's latest project features more than 300 sites across five boroughs.
By Libby Curran
October 12, 2017
  shares

While Australia can sometimes feel a little disconnected from the rest of the world, much of the globe can relate to our ongoing refugee situation. It's these widespread geopolitical and migration crises that world-renowned artist and activist Ai Weiwei is shining a spotlight on with his New York public art exhibition, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.

After running a crowdfunding campaign to fund the project back in August and September, the Chinese creative's latest installation is up and running from today until February 2018. The powerful showcase features a series of large-scale works throughout the entire city, as Ai Weiwei highlights the role of the security fence in dividing people, the immigration and border control practices and policies that go along with these physical barriers, and the current global rise in nationalism.

Spanning more than 300 sites across five boroughs, the artist's huge fence-inspired works can be found at places like Central Park and Greenwich Village's Washington Square Arch, as well as on top of and between private buildings. He has also created a collection of flagpole-mounted works, sculptures around bus shelters and two-dimensional lamppost banners. Meanwhile, traditional advertising spaces at bus shelters, LinkNYC kiosks and newsstands will display images taken during Ai Weiwei's time researching at refugee camps across the world.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors stems from his own experiences with displacement and detention, combined with his recent research surrounding the global refugee crisis. If you can't make it to New York to see the installation in person, Instagram has you covered. For more of Ai Weiwei's exploration of the topic, Human Flow, his latest documentary, is due in Australian cinemas in March 2018.

Images: Ai Weiwei studio via Kickstarter.

Published on October 12, 2017 by Libby Curran

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