GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A large iron sculpture by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is the latest addition to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park just outside Grand Rapids.
Meijer Gardens on Wednesday announced the acquisition of “Iron Tree,” which is made of 99 iron pieces and is designed to prompt thoughts about how different people and cultures come together. The reddish sculpture is more than 22 feet tall and looks like a tree without leaves, but oversize stainless steel bolts holding it together give it a mechanical, somewhat awkward appearance.
Ai, one of China’s best-known dissidents internationally, isn’t allowed to travel outside China. Meijer Gardens worked with him and his Beijing studio and foundry to bring the work to Grand Rapids.
A dedication ceremony and a lecture about Ai are planned April 20.