The Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei has taken metal fencing to a whole new dimension. He produced three large structures in a campaign against Donald Trump’s policy regarding border-control.
The temporary structures, which mimic security fences, were placed in three different locations in New York. Ai’s project, which was funded by a Kickstarter Campaign, was the result of his collaboration with the charity “Public Art Fund”.
The project is dubbed “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. The phrase is taken from Mending Wall poem, written in 1914 by the famous American poet Robert Frost.
The Chinese artist wishes his project would make a difference and attract more attention to the US/Mexican wall issue. This comes after Trump’s plans to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico have gone into action. These plans aim to reduce the numbers of illegal immigrants entering the US from Mexico.
“Fences and territory have become an even more urgent topic for everyone to take notice of, especially in the US,” the artist declared yesterday to a bunch of journalists at a press conference.
“We have policies to have very low limits to accept refugees and also to push away a lot of people who already work here, were born here, or made a great contribution to society,” he added. “We are trying to push them away.”
“We also want to build a great beautiful wall between US and Mexico, which is an unthinkable policy, but it is already in this process.”
The issue struck a chord with Ai Weiwei who is an immigrant himself. He emigrated to the States in 1981 and spent the following 12 years of his career in New York.
The activist is notorious for his relationship with the police in his country, China. His political views often got him into trouble and caused him to get arrested multiple times in addition to shutting down his studio.
A previous art project created by Ai aimed to highlight the crisis of the Syrian refugees.
He has worked with Dan Tobin on the “Fences” project in New York. Tobin is the founder of the art construction company, UAP. Both of them constructed the big cage on the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at the southeast corner of Central Park. The structure is called the Gilded Cage and features multiple bars, a turnstile, and an opening at the top to capture the sky view. The gold color of the sculpture indicates the luxury Trump lives in in his tower just a few blocks away.
“The project is made for the people of the city, so of course President Trump is welcome to enjoy this sculpture,” commented Ai. “I made the sculpture gold to please him.”
The second of his structures, which is located in a different park, is completely enclosed by the Washington Square Arch. It is composed of a silvery walkway that features the shapes of two human figures, one comforting the other.
The third piece of his project was erected in Queens because it includes “a large community of immigrants and also Chinese living there”. He utilized mesh netting to make a Unisphere in Corona Park to form a short fence.
The project will open today, the 12th of October, and will wrap up on the 11th of February, 2018.