Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei will build over 100 fence installations around the city this fall as part of his latest project, Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.

The project, which will run from October 12th through February 11th, 2018, was commissioned by the Public Art Fund as a highlight of its 40th anniversary. According to a press release, Weiwei said he was inspired by the "international migration crisis and tense sociopolitical battles surrounding the issue in the United States and worldwide," and conceived of the multi-site project as a way of transforming the metal wire security fence into a powerful artistic symbol. ​

The title of the work is a reference to Robert Frost's famous poem "Mending Wall," which includes the line, "Good fences make good neighbors." Multiple fences will be arrayed with site-specific designs at ten major locations around the city, including: the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art on Astor Place, JCDecaux bus shelters in Brooklyn, Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Central Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, and more.

"I was an immigrant in New York in the 1980s for ten years and the issue with the migration crisis has been a longtime focus of my practice," said Weiwei in a statement. "The fence has always been a tool in the vocabulary of political landscaping and evokes associations with words like ‘border,’ ‘security,’ and ‘neighbor,’ which are connected to the current global political environment. But what’s important to remember is that while barriers have been used to divide us, as humans we are all the same. Some are more privileged than others, but with that privilege comes a responsibility to do more."

Mayor de Blasio added that the project "serves as a reminder to all New Yorkers that although barriers may attempt to divide us, we must unite to make a meaningful impact in the larger community. New York City has long served as a gateway to the United States for millions of immigrants seeking better lives and has long benefited from their contributions and service in every neighborhood across the five boroughs. This expansive public art project that explores themes of freedom and the power of self-expression is a perfect symbol and reminder for all of us, especially in the current political climate."