Brick by brick: Ai Weiwei supporters flock to Lego collection points
International collection points are springing up the world over for Ai Weiwei, after the Danish toy giant Lego refused a bulk order from him.
Parked cars in noteworthy locations – from Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria to the Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam – aim to gather as many of the iconic brick toys as possible for the artist.
Lego’s refusal may have come as a surprise, especially as they have previously provided materials for other artists including Olafur Eliasson earlier this year, but the toy manufacturer has said it has a long-standing policy not to provide its bricks for works making political statements.
The collection points offer the wider community a key role in the internationally acclaimed artist’s creative process. Arguably, they make the pieces even more meaningful, too.
The National Gallery of Victoria is hosting a major new exhibition by Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol in December, focusing on Australian activists, advocates and champions of human rights and freedom of expression.
Ai Weiweii has famously used Lego to create portraits of dissidents such as Nelson Mandela and Edward Snowden and intriguingly posted on Instagram on Monday, ‘This is the first phase of the coming projects.’ We await the results.