Ai Weiwei’s New York Masterpiece

By Jared Serrano

Works from Ai Weiwei, a Chinese contemporary artist and social activist, are popping up around the city as part of a project called “Good Fences Makes Good Neighbors.” The citywide exhibition was organized by New York nonprofit Public Art Fund. All of the sculptures and banners on lampposts are in locations where many immigrants and refugees once resided.

(A Snapchat app adds exclusive filters when users take a photo of the banners.)

Ai Weiwei says his mission is to give voice to the voiceless, to the refugees who migrated to the United States and in particular New York City.

In his quest, Weiwei visited many sites in New York City to determine the best locations. He also interviewed hundreds of refugees from various countries to gain perspective on their lives.

Some of the street art include the “Gilded Cage” in Central Park, the “Arch” in Washington Square Park, and the “Security Fence” in Flushing Meadows’ Unisphere. Ai Weiwei’s project, “Good Fences Makes Good Neighbors,” can be seen around New York City from October 12, 2017 to February 11, 2018.

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