Human Flow belongs to a trio of artworks by Ai Weiwei which combine innovative printing methods with pillars of freedom upheld throughout his practice.
Figures in motion, laden with bags, move in an endless circle at the centre of the print. Razor wire surrounds them. CCTV cameras look on ominously. Ai reflects on the importance of a person’s liberty to move, and the forms of persecution that may lead them to do so. Opaque layers of white and yellow ink are applied to a mirrored aluminium substrate – subsuming onlooker and artwork in the reflective surface.
“If there is one refugee, we are all refugees. It's not that you're potentially a refugee, or potentially involved. We are involved. We are refugees. This idea is not easy to establish, so I tried to make it beautiful. You can see the image, but you can also see yourself in the reflection.”
Go behind the scenes at Make-Ready in London as Ai reflects on the profundities of printmaking, and its lineage within his practice.
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