Ai Weiwei Announces Collection Points for Lego Donations After Bulk Order Is Refused

Look for a red car in Beijing, Melbourne, and London.

Photo: Ai Weiwei (@aiww) via Instagram
Lego refused to send Ai Weiwei their signature toy bricks. Photo:

Lego refused to send Ai Weiwei their signature toy bricks.

In the wake of the uproar caused by Lego’s refusal to deliver a bulk order of toy bricks to Ai Weiwei on political grounds, the artist has announced the first collection points where supporters can deposit their Lego donations.

The first donation point, in the shape of a red car, was set up outside the artist’s studio in Beijing earlier this week, according to the Guardian.

Yesterday, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) announced that from tomorrow visitors will be able to drop their Lego bricks through the sunroof of a red vehicle parked in the sculpture garden of the Melbourne-based museum.

On Monday, Ai announced 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.’”

“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,” Tony Ellwood, director of the NGV, explained in a statement.

Ai’s Lego project will be part of a new major installation that the Chinese artist will display in the exhibition “Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei,” which will open in December 2015 at the NGV.

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.<br>Photo: via National Gallery of Victoria

Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
Photo: via National Gallery of Victoria

The exhibition will explore the two artists’ take on contemporary culture and media, and it will feature 300 works by Warhol and 120 works by Ai.

Meanwhile, London’s Royal Academy, where Ai is currently the subject of a large, blockbuster exhibition, has also announced today that it will become the UK collection point for Lego donations, which can also be sent by post to Lisson Gallery, which represents the artist’s work.

Last Friday, via an Instagram post, the artist and activist accused Lego of snubbing his bulk order of Lego blocks to protect its business interests in China. He suggested that the refusal coincided with the announcement of a new Legoland theme park in Shanghai. Moreover, Ai denounced Lego’s refusal as “an act of censorship and discrimination.”

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