Not too long ago, Jonathan and I stumbled on a documentary called Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry – the documentary features a Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, “who uses social media and his art to inspire protests against the state, and suffers government persecution for his actions”. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely watch it.
We heard he was having an exhibition on Alcatraz, called @Large, and knew we had to go. Luckily we were able to score tickets the week we were home!
Ai Weiwei isn’t allowed to leave Beijing and had to put together this exhibit from thousands of miles away! One of the rooms had six large Lego carpets that featured 175 people who were imprisoned for fighting for human and civil rights – like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. My most favorite was a giant, colorful Chinese paper dragon that spanned a giant room. The dragon’s eyes are of the Twitter logo, native to San Francisco and banned in The Republic of China. Ai Weiwei was trying to make a point of creating these beautiful kites meant to fly but are imprisoned by the prison walls.
If you happen to be in SF, be sure to check it out! The exhibit goes through April 26, 2015 and you get full access to the rest of the island and learn about the history of Alcatraz.