Politicallyly controversial artist, Ai Wei Wei has filled a NY gallery with thousand of garments gathered from refugee camps. Through Dec 23, Deitch Projects exhibits space has been turned into a monumental display of carefully-hung clothes, meticulously-arranged shoes, and precisely-folded blankets, each which have been washed, hung to dry, steamed, sorted and organized. On the ground, 2,000 posts from ‘the newsfeed’ canvas the gallery floor, displaying both text and image-based snippets from the media. Ai Wei Wei has become one of the the main advocates of human rights.
‘The refugee project began while I was living under soft detention in Beijing,’ Ai Wei Wei says. ‘following my arrest and secret detention in 2011, my passport was confiscated, and I was prohibited from traveling outside of China. although I could not leave the country, I was able to stay engaged globally through the internet.’
‘In July 2015, I received my passport back from the Chinese authorities and traveled to Berlin. There, I visited some refugees who had recently arrived from Syria. I decided to become more involved. I was unfamiliar with the situation, and the scope of the issue was wide enough for me to study. During Christmas, I visited the moria refugee camp in Lesbos, with my son and partner. I saw how the refugees arrived on the Greek shore, many of them women and children. The conditions at the camp were shocking.’