The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has reportedly been refused a shipment of Legos he ordered because the company “cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.”
In an Instagram post on Friday, the artist, well known for his open criticism of the Chinese government’s stance on human rights, wrote that he was planning to use Legos for a piece at Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria.
In September Lego refused Ai Weiwei Studio’s request for a bulk order of Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria as “they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.” On Oct 21, a British firm formally announced that it will open a new Legoland in Shanghai as one of the many deals of the U.K.-China “Golden Era.”
He also posted a great photo of Legos in a toilet bowl, and called Lego’s actions “an act of censorship and discrimination.”
Meanwhile, a British firm called Merlin Entertainments announced this week that it is opening a Legoland park in Shanghai. The park is set to open during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.K.
Legos have been used for other political works in the past, like this 2008 installation in Copenhagen.
“We refrain, on a global level, from actively engaging in or endorsing the use of LEGO bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda. This principle is not new from the LEGO Group.”
Image via Getty