Ai Weiwei supporters flock to Lego collection points

Toys of various colors
(Image credit: press)

International collection points are springing up the world over for Ai Weiwei (opens in new tab), 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.

A woman is holding a toy box

The groundswelling of support comes after Lego stated they did not provide bricks for works that hold an openly politial message

(Image credit: press)

A man is holding toy box

Amongst other collection points, there will be one at the Royal Accademy in London

(Image credit: press)

Information

'Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei' will be on display at the National Gallery of Victoria (opens in new tab), Melbourne, Australia, from 11 December, 2015 - 24 April, 2016 

Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.