Ai Weiwei used more than 1 million Legos to build his portraits of political exiles and prisoners of conscience in the New Industries Building of Alcatraz for his exhibit opening today. The media leading up to the opening of @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz has been sustained and glowing. The New York Times wrote, “The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is taking his vision to one of the most infamous prisons, using it as an inspiration for a monumental installation.”
We are so honored to be a part of it! Indow inserts line the broken gun gallery windows of the New Industries Building where guards pointed their weapons at the prisoners working below doing laundry or making clothes and brushes. Organizers of @Large had to shield visitors from the broken glass and protect the windows from overzealous souvenir seekers. Since Alcatraz is a National Historic Landmark there couldn’t be a nail hole or mark so the FOR-SITE foundation turned to Indow for a solution.
Of the seven projects in the @Large exhibit, three are in the New Industries Building where Indow inserts are installed: Trace (the Lego portraits), With Wind (A large dragon kite and others) and Refraction (A giant metal bird wing).