Ai Wei Wei is a Chinese artists known for his installation work regarding social injustice issues. The powerful piece that intrigued me in his work was the one seen below. The 90 tonne iron rods are debris from an earthquake that occurred in China causing thousands of injuries and fatalities, while the Chinese government did not release a report or the names of the victims affected in the catastrophe. The rods were painstakingly straightened by hand and laid out to replicate the contours of the landscape where the earthquake affected. It is described in Guardians article, “It is I think the heaviest work we’ve ever put in our galleries here,” said co-curator Adrian Locke. “Aside from the technical challenge, it is a very sombre and sobering work when you see it, it has this kind of power and silence about it … it bears a real sense of loss of life.”
This is another piece done by Ai Weiwei where he wraps the Columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with 14,000 Salvaged Refugee Life Vests.
“Although thousands of the life jackets can now be seen in Berlin, this does not begin to account for the thousands of jackets that remain on the shores of the Greek island, pointing to the number of refugees who have passed through the island. Since last December Ai has shared dozens of images of refugees who have come to Lesbos on his personal Instagram account, including this image of a mass of life vests left behind.
The temporary art installation was created for the Cinema for Peace gala which took place February 15, 2016.”
This piece has inspired me to show facts in a shocking format throughout my work, numbers and subtle use of an object in its simplest form, can actually be in my opinion one of the most powerful ways of get an idea across through art.