NEW YORK — Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is bringing dozens of fences to rooftops and parks across the city for his latest public exhibition aimed at commenting on immigration worldwide.
The artist and activist will be building more than 100 fences and other installations throughout the city as part of the project, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” officials said.
He is partnering with the Public Art Fund as part of its 40th anniversary celebration to bring the metal wire security fences to locations like the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on Astor Place, Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Central Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens and bus shelters in Brooklyn.
Aside from public parks and plaza, the fences will also appear wedged in between buildings and perched atop city rooftops in the form of sculptures and more, a spokeswoman for the Public Art Fund said.
The project was inspired by the current immigration crisis in the United States and around the world, according to the Fund.
“I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for ten years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice,” Weiwei said in a statement.
“What’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more.”
The fences will symbolize New York City's role as a “gateway to the United States” for millions of immigrants, the statement noted.
“Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors serves as a reminder to all New Yorkers that although barriers may attempt to divide us, we must unite to make a meaningful impact in the larger community,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
The installation is named after a line from the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost.
It will be on display from Oct. 12 to Feb. 11.