Thousands of refugees who are seeking asylum risk their lives on a daily basis trying to get to Europe by sea. Many are escaping wars and other untold atrocities in their home countries. Many never make it to the other side.
Aljazeera recently reported that more than 450 000 life jackets have accumulated on the Greek island of Lesbos. Contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei has made a large-scale installation in Copenhagen’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg to draw attention to the crisis.
The work is titled, Soleil Levant. To capture the current political reality, Weiwei crammed over 3 500 life jackets together to visually represent the disturbing conditions that refugees are subject to while journeying across the ocean by lifeboat. The title of the installation draws from Claude Monet's 1872 painting, Impression, which was a depiction of the Le Havre harbour at the end of the 1870–1871 Franco-Prussian war.
Weiwei’s installation will be exhibited in the centre of Nyhavn — a historic waterfront district in Copenhagen until the 1st of October 2017.