The manufacturer refuses to accept an order for parts by attributing a "political" dissident Chinese artist order and then asks the public to donate theirs. Ai Weiwei wants to play with Lego blocks of their friends. After a very public dispute with the manufacturer, who has refused to give an order for parts that Chinese dissident artist wanted to use for an exhibition in Australia, Ai has asked his fans who donate those with at home. The response has been so overwhelming that he says is convinced that can gather sufficient to complete your project.
The scandal had erupted this weekend when Ai, which since August lives in Berlin, reported via Twitter that specialized in components for children multinational refused to serve "substantial" order, arguing that Lego "I can not approve the use of their works in political blocs."
The versatile artist, as famous creations abroad by the design of the Beijing Olympic Stadium also known as "El Nido" - for their clashes against the Chinese communist regime did not hesitate to publicly denounce the situation as "an act of censorship. " Neither he hesitated to point out that the company responsible for the theme parks of the brand, the British Merlin, had just signed a contract to install one of their parks in Shanghai, during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, to London.
Immediately, fans of Ai began to send messages in which they offered to donate its building blocks, many with comments complaint against the multinational. "That's what happens when you prepend money and bad politics to people and truth," he wrote one of his "followers". On Monday, the sculptor, designer and singer announced that organize collection points in cities around the world so people could deposit their toy parts. They build them thought, sure, a facility dedicated to freedom of expression.
"In response to the rejection of Lego and the overwhelming public response, Ai Weiwei has decided to create a new work to defend freedom of expression and political art," he stated the artist Instagram account. "Ai Weiwei Studio announced the project description and points to deposit the pieces in different cities. It is the first phase of the next project. "
In one of his messages he showed a picture of a red car parked outside his house on whose roof Peking someone poured game pieces. "The first container" announced. Hours later, at a press conference in Berlin he pointed out that believes it will receive enough bids for parts of his fans to complete the work. "Internet is a bit like a modern church. Going to see the priest, you tell your problems and all parishioners can participate and maybe, together, can reach a solution, "declared the artist. Ai said that when he received the refusal of Lego was "stunned. It was a perfectly respectable "request.
Ai had used pieces of Lego in other previous installations. Last year he used to create 175 giant portraits of jailed dissidents or exiles in an exhibition in the prison of Alcatraz, in San Francisco (EE. UU.), And this time wanted to do something similar in Melbourne (Australia). Lego spokesman Trangbæk Roar Rude told AFP that the company refrains "global actively get involved or support the use of Lego blocks in projects or contexts of a political nature. It is a new beginning. "
The artist is not far from stranger to controversy, but usually their fights aimed the Chinese regime. In 2011, while developing a project to publish the names of the children killed in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008-and expose the poor quality of the construction of public schools where fallecieron-, Ai was detained for 81 days, after which it was he seized his passport. Finally this summer could leave the country for the first time in four years.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on the new controversy over its citizens. His argument is that the dispute does not have "diplomatic" character.