Search

Ai Weiwei’s LEGO Portraits Hit Alcatraz

Artist/activist Ai Weiwei may be banned from leaving China, but his work isn’t. While spending his days in Beijing, he’s created 176 portraits out of LEGO bricks for a thought-provoking exhibition called @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. The Alcatraz Island location seems fitting seeing that he’s basically living within his own country imprisoned.

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Using 1.2 million LEGO bricks, Trace, is a series of portraits of those around the world that have been exiled or imprisoned because of political beliefs. With the help of more than 80 volunteers, the portraits were assembled by hand according the Weiwei’s specifications. While exploring the exhibition, visitors can reflect on their own freedom and human rights.

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Thor Swift for The New York Times

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.