ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way
 

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

chinese artist ai weiwei has teamed up with german DIY store HORNBACH to present ‘safety jackets zipped the other way’ — a work of art that you can build yourself. the project consists of industrial high-visibility jackets that are connected to each other with their zips. removed from their original function, the jackets merge into an shapeless soft sculpture. available in four different versions, the orange jacket ensemble is either placed on a structure made of steel tubes or hung on a wall using hooks.

 

to learn more about the project, and weiwei’s collaboration with HORNBACH, designboom attended the unveiling and assembly of the sculptural works at the artist’s studio in berlin.

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

 

 

ai weiwei, who was invited by HORNBACH to create an artwork using hardware store materials, has long considered hardware stores, as well as book stores, to be some of his favorite places. working with a brief that greatly appealed to him, weiwei set out to make something that democratized art. ‘art belongs to everybody,’ says ai weiwei. ‘everybody can be an artist or has the opportunity or ability to make art. and while art may not necessarily make the world a better place, it has the power to make us better people.’

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

 

 

‘HORNBACH is a business that relates to the everyday lives of people,’ weiwei continues. ‘I have always liked stores that serve a clear function or have a practical purpose. when I was living in new york in the 1980s, I always frequented these kinds of places. I used to say that there are two types of stores one should visit — book shops and DIY stores. one serves the activity of the brain and the other provides the tools with which to make things happen.’

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

 

 

a central motif in ai weiwei’s work is the concept of the readymade, where the artist redefines an industrially manufactured object as a work of art. following this principle, ‘safety jackets zipped the other way’ consists of a set of high-visibility safety jackets zipped together to form a connected, non-functional soft sculpture that can be made in different variations.

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way
image © designboom

 

 

by reworking the function of the original components, all of which can be bought at HORNBACH, something new and unexpected can be created. ‘simply zipping a jacket in a reverse fashion with another jacket destroys the original meaning and functionality,’ comments ai weiwei. those who want to own an original artwork by ai weiwei can download the free instruction manual from HORNBACH’s website, purchase the components, and build it themselves.

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way
image © designboom

 

 

‘safety jackets zipped the other way’ is accompanied by a publication that is both building instructions and an art book — with a statement by ai weiwei and a discussion with hans ulrich obrist, artistic director of the serpentine galleries. a certificate for detaching and hanging confirms the authenticity of every piece of art built. building instructions and certificates can be ordered as a book or downloaded online.

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way
image © designboom

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way
image © designboom

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

ai weiwei makes DIY sculpture with HORNBACH: safety jackets zipped the other way

 

 

 

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