#safepassage: ai weiwei amsterdam exhibition will focus on the refugee crisis

The upcoming solo exhibition reflects on the artist's personal experiences and those of the thousands of refugees who risk their lives to reach Europe.

by Lula Ososki
04 August 2016, 11:05pm

Safe Passage, Facebook, 2016 © Ai Weiwei Studio

From marching through London with Anish Kapoor to controversial works using refugee lifejackets collected from the Greek island of Lesbos, Ai Weiwei has continued to explore issues surrounding the refugee crisis in his recent work. For his latest exhibition taking place at Foam gallery in Amsterdam, the Chinese artist will reflect on both his personal experiences of life under government surveillance, which prompted him to leave China, as well as the daily struggles faced by the influx of refugees forced to leave their homeland all over the world.

After visiting the Greek island of Lesbos in 2015, Weiwei has travelled to refugee camps around the Mediterranean, including those based in Syria, Turkey, Italy, Israel and France, using Instagram as a live documentation of what he witnessed. At the exhibition titled #SafePassage the walls of Foam will be plastered with thousands of photos he took on his phone, providing a moving and hard-hitting insight into life within the refugee camps.

Alongside this huge collage of photographs, there will also be a selection of Ai Weiwei's marble sculptures and video works.

Incoming refugee boat, Lesbos, Greece. 17 February 2016 © Ai Weiwei Studio

#SafePassage will take place at Foam, Amsterdam from 16 September - 7 December 2016.


Text Lula Ososki

refugee crisis
Ai Weiwei