The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is known for works that are both intricately beautiful (millions of handmade porcelain sunflower seeds) and intimately political (six detailed dioramas of his life while under house arrest). His recent pieces have zeroed in on the poignant details of a global issue: the refugee crisis.
At this year’s Biennale of Sydney, Ai unveiled Law of the Journey, a 60-meter-long rubber raft crammed with more than 250 faceless and anonymous figures.
It’s the latest in a series of installations evoking the plight of refugees. Laundromat showcased the clothes and shoes worn by 15,000 Syrian refugees at a camp in Idomeni, Greece. For another piece, he wrapped the six columns of Konzerthaus Berlin with 14,000 life jackets discarded by refugees. And late last year, he released the documentary about displacement, Human Flow, filmed across 23 countries.
Watch the video above to see Ai’s giant inflatable raft.