Ai Weiwei and the Public Art Fund Use Fences to Explore Immigration Reform

by Flaunt Intern

Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei, is teaming up with the Public Art Fund for their 40th anniversary to open their project, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors," in New York from October 12, 2017 till February 11, 2018. They plan to showcase their art and build fences in over 300 locations including spots in the Essex Street Market, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, JCDecaux bus shelters, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The fences that are being built explore the ongoing pressing issues of immigration reform and the refugee crisis present in the current Trump era. "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" challenges the the literal and metaphorical borders and walls that divides us.

“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,” Ai Weiwei told the Public Art Fund. “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.” 

Help fund Ai Weiwei's project here


Written by Kelly An