The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei talks about the site-specific installation he has created for OpenART. Think Different (How to hang workers’ uniforms) is a social commentary on the harsh working conditions faced by factory workers in China on a daily basis. The artwork consists of 375 workers’ uniforms, hanged above and along Köpmangatan, the most commercial street in the city center of Örebro.
All the uniforms come from Foxconn Technology Group, the largest electronics manufacturer in the world and Apple’s main supplier. Suicide, rioting and occupational fatality have often recurred as a result of the inhumane treatment of the workers. The company employs about 1,2 million people worldwide, making it the tenth biggest employer in the world.
Many of its workers in China are forced to work six days a week and up to 12 hours a day; about a quarter of them live on-site, in dormitories, where many suicide cases were reported.
“Over the past few years, many young people have had hard times coping with the difficult working conditions, so they jump out of the window”, explains Ai Weiwei for OpenART.
Ai Weiweis work was installed on Köpmangatan over the course of one night. 15 people were needed to get the job done.