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Ai Weiwei collaborates with Hornbach to create a new soft sculpture

The soft sculpture, entitled “Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way,” will soon be available for order on HORNBACH’s website.

The artwork consists of a set of high-visibility safety jackets zipped together over a structure of steel rods, forming a connected, non-functional soft sculpture that can be made in different variations.

“Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way” can be arranged in various configurations depending on the available space, with an instruction manual detailing how to build the sculpture so that it hangs on the wall on hooks without the metal structure.

Ai weiwei Hornbach
(Image credit: Hornbach)

While most of Weiwei’s works have been created in China, this new original piece is made from readymade materials found in HORNBACH’s DIY stores in Germany.

“When HORNBACH invited me to collaborate on this project, I immediately thought it was a fantastic idea. HORNBACH is a company that has a connection with people’s everyday lives. Their products address the practical aspects of life, as well as the decorative and pleasurable,” the Chinese artist noted in a statement about the piece.

“Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way” is reminiscent of Weiwei’s 1980 installation, “Five Raincoats Holding Up a Star,” in which Weiwei transformed utilitarian readymades into legitimate art objects.

“[‘Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way’] is based on the same idea, but we have refreshed it,” he revealed in a statement, also adding this piece is not necessarily intended for “art collectors or museum-goers.”

“Art belongs to everybody. Everybody can be an artist or has the opportunity or ability to make art. And while art may not necessarily make the world a better place, it has the power to make us better people,” he further explained.

According to artnet News, the small version of “Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way” is priced for €150 (approx. RM600) while the largest standing piece retails at €500 (approx. RM2,200).

A certificate of authenticity and instruction manual are available separately, and include a statement by Weiwei about the collaborative sculpture as well as a conversation with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.