Ai Weiwei is one of the most famous Chinese artists and is also considered to be one of the most influential artists of the contemporary art world. He became especially famous for his provocative work, because of which he became unfavoured by the Chinese government against which he openly stands.
He has worked in the US and is active in the field of architecture and is also known as a political activist. He received many prestigious awards and traditionally has exhibited in leading international luxurious galleries. Until the 7th January 2018 you will have the opportunity to see his unique exhibition “Law of the Journey”, which is currently installed in the National Gallery's Trade Fair Palace.
“Law of the Journey” summarises the current refugee issue. As a former refugee himself, he has focussed in his recent works on defending the human rights of migrants. He argues that while we are approaching refugees we are also losing our basic values. The exhibition points to the state of humankind, which he calls the "greatest, most disturbing humanitarian crisis since the Second World War", and the venue of the exhibition is also symptomatic: though today we can speak of the luxurious Trade Fair Palace, in 1939-1941 it a place where Jews were gathered prior to their deportation to the concentration camp in Terezín.
The dominant item of the exhibition is the huge inflatable boat full of people that is floating in space. Surrounding walls are occupied by collages that were made from photos taken with a mobile phone. Wallpaper that is called “Snapshots of refugees from the Human Flow (2016)” represents the touching testimony of a personal encounter in the face of this tragic situation.
You will also find there a Laundromat, a collection of clothes and shoes that the author himself and his team collected from a vacant camp located in the Greek Idomeni close to the Macedonian border. They were then washed, dried and ironed. According to Ai Weiwei, the clothing itself testifies to the violation of human rights in the 21st Century and the violation of the Refugee Convention.