As we close in on the final weeks of @Large, an exhibit by activist and artist Ai Weiwei, I want to draw attention to his colorful, significant and powerful pieces currently on display on Alcatraz Island. Due to Ai Weiwei's history of vocal criticisms of the Chinese government, he is currently not permitted to travel outside of China and as a result, was unable to visit his exhibit on Alcatraz in person. In any case, he developed the amazing and diverse works and planning from his Beijing studio. The exhibit has transformed Alcatraz's Industries Building into a public space to discuss individual rights, liberty and justice, as well as our personal responsibilities to address these subjects. After you have finished touring the main prison where you will experience Weiwei's Blossom and Stay Tuned pieces within the Hospital ward of the penitentiary, you'll then want to go to witness Refraction, the intricate With Wind displays (above), and the million Lego pieces used to create Trace. The seven site specific pieces will take your breath away and the exhibit is an added bonus when you visit The Rock!
"The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is internationally renowned for work that defies the distinction between art and activism. In this exhibition of new works created specifically for Alcatraz, Ai responds to the island’s layered legacy as a 19th-century military fortress, a notorious federal penitentiary, a site of Native American heritage and protest, and now one of America’s most visited national parks. Revealing new perspectives on Alcatraz, the exhibition raises questions about freedom of expression and human rights that resonate far beyond this particular place." -Alcatraz Cruises
To learn more about Ai Weiwei and the movement, The Huffington Post features a great and informative article The Artist is Absent. The final day of the exhibit is April 26th, 2015 so if you've ever needed an excuse to cross the bay and visit Alcatraz, this is it! The colorful installations and intricate works of art are truly one of a kind.
Have you experienced @Large on Alcatraz? I'd love to hear what you impressions you got from the exhibit and the ideas on Ai Weiwei's movement. Are you looking to learn more about events going on in the Bay Area? If so, follow along with me on Instagram and "like" Sunshine Daydream on Facebook to stay connected!