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    Ai Wei Wei

    Freedom Imprisoned - Chinese artist exhibits in Alcatraz.

    Jailed Chinese artist/activist Ai Wei Wei recently launched @Large: Ai Wei Wei on Alcatraz, an exhibition on the famous ex-prison island. Now a national park, the old penitentiary is currently playing host to seven art installations art by Ai Wei Wei, created specifically for the space. Comprising sculpture, sound and visual works, the exhibition’s installations make use of and integrate with the prison’s features – six on them in areas that are usually off-limits to visitors. Until April 25, 2015 guests can view Ai Wei Wei’s work in previously unseen A Block cells, which date back to the early 20th century, and the psychiatric wards of the prison’s hospital.

    The exhibition raises questions about the ethicality of prisons, highlighting the social implications or incarceration. It’s available to ticket-holding visitors to the island for no extra charge and includes a 45-minute audio tour of the prison. Installations include a multi-coloured Chinese dragon made of kites, representing personal freedom, flying through the New Industries Building and “Blossom,” ceramic flowers blooming out of sinks and tubs in the hospital ward. Ai is currently under house arrest in Beijing – all works were created with the help of his studio assistants.