More than 100 fences will appear across the city this fall, but they aren’t meant to be divisive. Creator Ai Weiwei said he hopes, in fact, the structures will bring New Yorkers together.
The famed Chinese artist and the Public Art Fund on Monday announced that they will install colorful metal wire fences in various locations in October as part of Weiwei’s “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” project. The 59-year-old activist said he has been influenced by the current migration crisis and ongoing debates about immigration and wanted to show the physical and metaphorical “expression of division.”
“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,” Weiwei said in a statement.
The project, part of the Public Art’s 40th anniversary, will be on display from Oct. 12 through Feb. 18 on streets and rooftops, in between buildings and throughout parks.
The Public Art Fund said specific sites are still being determined, but the fences will show up at Essex Street Market, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Cooper Union and Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Central Park.
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the project and said it would help New Yorkers of all backgrounds find common ground.
“This expansive public art project that explores themes of freedom and the power of self-expression is a perfect symbol and reminder for all of us, especially in the current political climate,” he said in a statement.