To bring attention to the plight of refugees stuck at sea, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei used discarded lifejackets as a beautiful yet disturbing medium for a new art installation.
He collected 14,000 bright orange vests and attached them around the six columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus. Each jacket represents a person who landed in the Greek island of Lesbos after spending days – if not weeks – on a boat from Turkey.
At first glance, the glow of the safety vests provides a stunning contrast against the structure’s classic façade. But the context of the material is anything but stunning or beautiful. It’s not known whether the previous owners of these jackets have found refuge or are still looking for a place to call home.
You can see more of Ai Weiwei’s work on Instagram.