Outspoken Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is receiving offers of Lego brick donations after the company denied his request to aid him in an upcoming exhibition by the artist.
“The internet is like a modern church. You go and complain to a priest and everybody in the community can share your problems. So some clever people took up the issue and had the idea to fundraise for the Lego,” Weiwei said at a press conference on Monday, according to The Guardian.
The Danish toymaker had initially refused to grant Weiwei – who often has used his art to denounce Chinese censorship and human rights abuses – a bulk order of its plastic bricks for his “Andy Warhol / Ai Weiwei” exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia this December. In response, Weiwei criticized the move on Instagram, calling it “an act of censorship and discrimination”.
The Internet, however, has flooded Weiwei with an outpouring of Lego donations and support for his project:
While logistics are in their infancy, Weiwei has promised such offers will be accepted:
This isn’t the first time the activist has used Lego’s popular toy bricks for a project. In September last year, Weiwei used the Alcatraz prison floor in San Francisco to showcase 176 portraits of political prisoners from around the world, and used 1.2 million Lego pieces for his gallery.
The company’s last tiff with an artist was over Polish artist Zbigniew Libera’s use of the bricks to create a faux Lego concentration camp display. Lego tried – and failed – to prevent the artwork from reaching the masses.