Migrant Shores was inspired by Ai Waiwai’s 2016 work, which deals with the migrant crisis facing Europe. The piece is intended to illustrates what I see as the West’s indifference to the plight of the refugees flooding out of the Middle East. The composition is based off an image Ai shared on social media, where he recreated the scene of drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi.
Migrant Shores illustrates how our reaction to tragedy is now to snap a photo, and then share it on social media. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Certainly, if I had never seen Ai’s picture in my twitter feed, I probably never would’ve given the refugee crisis much thought. But because I did see Ai’s image on social media, the crises now bothers me enough that I’ve gone so far as to make art about it with Migrant Shores.