If you don’t know who Ai Weiwei is, he’s an artist who likes big, statement-setting installations, but in a new exhibition he is throwing it back to the Impressionists, with a massive interpretation of Water Lillies by Monet, made from 650,000 Lego bricks.
Titled Water Lillies #1, it’s the largest Lego sculpture the Chinese artist has ever made, and it will go on display in “Ai Weiwei: Making Sense” at the Design Museum in London, UK, from April 7 to July 30.
The nearly fifty-foot-long sculpture takes up a whole wall at the museum. The gentle flowing colors are interrupted suddenly by a dark portal that represents the underground tunnel built by his father at the family house in China’s Xinjiang Province—where they would often hide from the authorities.
“In ‘Water Lilies #1’ I integrate Monet’s Impressionist painting, reminiscent of Zenism in the East, and concrete experiences of my father and me into a digitized and pixelated language,” Ai said in a statement.
“Toy bricks as the material, with their qualities of solidity and potential for deconstruction, reflect the attributes of language in our rapidly developing era where human consciousness is constantly dividing.”