With Donald Trump promising the U.S to build walls and close down borders, artists have also joined in to make their own strong political statements.
Ai Weiwei, the famously provocative Chinese artist and activist will build over 100 fences around New York City, his inspiration taken from the international crisis of displaced migrants and political challenges facing the US.
The project titled Good Fences Make Good Neighbours was commissioned by the Public Art Fund – It will be his largest public art project to date which will include 10 major installations and other minor works which will be dotted across some of the boroughs.
“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,” Ai said in a statement.
“The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbour,’ which are connected to the current global political environment.
“But 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 project’s title references Robert Frost’s poem ‘Mending Wall,’ which included the line ‘Good fences make good neighbours’.
Speaking to the NYT, he said: “When the Berlin Wall fell, there were 11 countries with border fences and walls. By 2016, that number had increased to 70″.