"There’s no refugee crisis, but only human crisis… In dealing with refugees we’ve lost our very basic values" are words articulated by Ai Weiwei himself in response to the current humanitarian disaster. You'll most likely know Ai Weiwei thanks to his innovative and provocative works, one thing you may not know is that he himself is a refugee. Over the last two years Ai has focused his work entirely on the tragic condition of refugees and advocating their human rights.
Since 2015 the influx of refugees into Europe from Syria and beyond has escalated, being described as 'a slaughterhouse, a complete meltdown of of humanity, the apex of horror'. Law of the Journey is an epic statement on the this, the artists expression of empathy and moral concern in the midsts of the carnage.
The grand hall in Prague's National Gallery features the big inflatable boat with larger than life figures of the refugees. Also a selection of Ai's other works including Laundromat (2016), a subversive portrait of dispossession and displacement. Flowers (2013–2015) Weiwei’s specific attempt at a commemorative self-portrait in times of confinement. Snake Ceiling (2009), devoted to the 5,000 plus school children who lost their lives during a massive earthquake in China’s Sichuan province in 2008. Traveling Light (2007) is a reflection upon the past and its strength to project the future.
Law of the Journey is on at the National Gallery in Prague until January 8th 2018.