Culture / Art Republik


Ai Wei Wei visits Alcatraz

Nov 20, 2014 | By Staff Writer

Renowned Chinese Artist Ai Wei Wei has recently completed a secret exhibition on the Alcatraz island, the infamous island used as a military fortress and federal penitentiary. He has transformed old fixtures in hospital ward cells into beautiful flower bouquets, installing delicate white porcelain flowers into sinks, tubs and toilet bowls used by actual inmates in the past. Ai Wei Wei’s works are part of a series titled Blossom where he symbolically offers comfort to the imprisoned. Judging from his previous activist performances and political art pieces, this series can also be interpreted as an ironic allusion to China’s Hundred Flowers Campaign- a period in 1956 where the communist party in China encouraged its citizens to openly express their opinions of the communist regime. Ai Wei Wei explains, “The misconception of totalitarianism is that freedom can be imprisoned. This is not the case. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill.” 


Ai Blossom Detail 1

Ai Blossom Detail 2

Ai Blossom Detail 3


Blossom 1

Blossom 2

Blossom 3

Blossom 4

Blossom 5

Visit Ai Wei Wei’s Website Here 


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