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Ai Weiwei, 2009
Media Release • 27 Oct 15

NGV announced as Lego collection point for Ai Weiwei project

Ai Weiwei confirmed on Tuesday 27 October that the National Gallery of Victoria will become the first international Lego collection point outside of Beijing for his new art project.

A car will be placed in the sculpture garden of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne as a repository for the Lego blocks. Donors are encouraged to bring in their Lego blocks and drop them through the sunroof of the vehicle.

The car will be in place by Thursday 29 October.

Ai Weiwei posted on Instagram on Monday 26th October that, ‘In response to Lego’s refusal and the overwhelming public response, Ai Weiwei has now decided to make a new work to defend freedom of speech and “political art”. Ai Weiwei Studio will announce the project description and Lego collection points in different cities. This is the first phase of the coming projects.’

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, speaking from Ai Weiwei’s Beijing studio this afternoon, said, ‘We have received many offers of donations of Lego in the past days. People have shown their generosity, creative spirit and enthusiasm to become engaged in this project, and we are pleased to be the first international collection point.

‘The project began by celebrating those who stand for human rights and freedom of speech, and has inspired a groundswell of support that has developed into this inspiring project which has engaged the wider community.’

This new project was developed in response to a major new installation by Ai Weiwei for the NGV’s exhibition Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei to open in Melbourne in December 2015. The installation focuses on Australian activists, advocates and champions of human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of information and the Internet.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei will present over 120 works by Ai Weiwei alongside more than 300 works by Andy Warhol, exploring the full scope of both artists’ practice in depth.

The exhibition is presented in association with The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and Ai Weiwei Studio.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei will be on display at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, from 11 December 2015 – 24 April 2016. The exhibition will subsequently be presented at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in the United States of America from June – August 2016.

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