Chinese artist should be free to use any medium
Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, intended to create political art with the use of Legos, and was denied the bulk use of Lego’s products to make his piece.
Lego’s spokesperson claimed that they “refrain, on a global level, from actively engaging in or endorsing the use of Lego bricks in projects or contexts of a political agenda.”
WeiWei’s art depicts 176 people who have been jailed for their political beliefs. He claimed Lego’s denying him the use of their product was an unjust act of censorship and discrimination.
We The Threefold Advocate believe that Lego should not restrict their product as a medium which artists like WeiWei utilize.
While the company may not have a similar opinion on the political stance portrayed by the pieces, when artists create pieces with specific oil paints, the oil paint companies are not offended or restrictive of the use of their medium.
In the same way, Lego should understand that their censoring the use of their product is unfair.
Instead of restricting WeiWei’s right to use their product, the company should allow the use of it, and provide a statement that the opinions reflected through Lego art do not represent the opinions of the company.
We The Threefold believe that artists should be allowed the freedom of expression, as it is their outlet and form of communication.
We The Threefold understand that Lego may be afraid of the potential for bad publicity. However, we believe that they will lose more customers over their refusal to give Weiwei the Legos than they would lose over the potentially divisive political statement he is making with their product.
Artists have the freedom to use any medium to communicate the message of their pieces. It is unfortunate that WeiWei’s pieces were censored because changing the medium of the piece can in turn affect the quality, purpose and intention of art.
Lego enacting this censorship reflects poorly on the image of the company as they are restricting artists’ freedom.