Right ahead of getting a permanent home in Stockholm, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s steel sculpture Arch has been recently installed outside the city’s National Museum gallery. Crafted out of polished steel, the 12 m tall cage-like structure has a cutout of two intertwined human figures at its centre. Know more about the project on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).
The Arch installation on the Blasieholmen peninsula in Stockholm’s archipelago has been organized by the creative foundation Brilliant Minds. Established in 2015 by Spotify founder Daniel Ek and entrepreneur Ash Pournori, Brilliant Minds is known to host annual events in Stockholm that support creative individuals who have world-changing ideas.
As a part of the Good Fences Make Good Neighbours installation, the sculpture made its debut back in 2017 in New York. The installation is the first in a series of cultural exhibits that Brilliant Minds will reportedly support in Stockholm for the next five years. The Arch will be moved to an undisclosed permanent site in the city after a year.
The two intertwining human figures that appear to break through the steel bars that surround them represent the free passage for all, thereby resonating with the idea of a world without borders. The passageway with the fence resonates with the movement of inhabitation. The Arch celebrates innovation and creativity alongside connecting local communities. According to the artist, it is crucial to make the Arch visible for the development and protection of free expression. Giving out a thought-provoking message that reflects the uncertainty of the times that we are living in, the Arch urges its spectators to come together to overcome the challenge of change in a time of political divisiveness, refugee crisis and isolation.
Quite known for his political artworks, Ai has also contributed in designing a footprint flag for human rights to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Arch is Ai’s one of the biggest public art project.
Image credits: Jean Lapin