Refraction, New Industries Building

“Refraction” is an art installation by Ai Weiwei that depicts a structure of a real bird’s wing, bristled with reflective panels. These reflective panels were initially used on solar cookers in Tibet, a region that has struggled under Chinese rule. This representation drives tension between freedom and confinement. The significance of this theme is furthered as the location of the installation is at the New Industries Building at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California. Ai Weiwei is a Beijing-based artist and activist that combines multiple mediums of art and social criticisms.