set across the multiple boroughs of new york city, world-renowned chinese artist ai weiwei has collaborated with the public art fund on a powerful new exhibition called ‘good fences make good neighbors’ addressing human rights. comprised of over 300 outdoor sites, the public art pieces take into consideration the international migration crisis and the tense sociopolitical battle surrounding this issue. by taking the metal wire used to build fences, the artist aims to transform this material into a powerful artistic symbol. 

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
ai weiwei: good fences make good neighbors will be on view october 12, 2017 – february 11, 2018

 

 

‘I was an immigrant in new york in the 1980s for ten years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,’ says ai weiwei. ‘the fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment. but what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.’

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
300 outdoor sites will see pieces that take into consideration the international migration crisis

 

 

by installing fences in varying site-specific forms at locations like the lower east side, astor place, central park and queens, amongst others, new york city will see ai weiwei’s striking installations that draw attention to the role of the fence as both a physical manifestation and metaphorical expression of division. with the public art exhibition he will explore one of society’s most urgent issues, namely the psychic and physical barriers that divide us.

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
the project is currently seeking funds on kickstarter and you can help following this link

 

 

‘ai weiwei’s good fences make good neighbors serves as a reminder to all new yorkers that although barriers may attempt to divide us, we must unite to make a meaningful impact in the larger community,’ said mayor bill de blasio. ‘new york city has long served as a gateway to the united states for millions of immigrants seeking better lives and has long benefited from their contributions and service in every neighborhood across the five boroughs. this expansive public art project that explores themes of freedom and the power of self-expression is a perfect symbol and reminder for all of us, especially in the current political climate.’

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
sites include the lower east side, astor place, central park and queens, amongst others

 

 

the public art fund and ai weiwei are currently seeking funds on kickstarter with the idea that art should be accessible to everyone, leaving a lasting impact on those who experience it. exclusive rewards like t-shirts, baggu totes, and rally-style prints will be available for those who help. 

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
the show will draw attention to the fence as both a physical manifestation and metaphorical expression of division

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors exhibition will take place in new york city

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
rally-style prints, set of 3 (16″ x 20″ each, unframed)

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
baggu tote

ai weiwei good fences make good neighbors new york city designboom
rally-style print (16″ x 20,” unframed)

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