German agency, Heimat, has built an enviable history of creative advertising for D-I-Y retailer, Hornbach. With that comes an enviable reputation, that Hornbach enables its customers to create great things with creativity and their bare hands
In 2018, Hornbach enabled everyone to own Sigurd Larsen’s Werkstück Lounge Chair 001 and Yo Shimada’s Itsuri Table. They just had to make it themselves. Now anyone can own a famous piece of art – the artwork, Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way, by world-famous Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. The new project is a collaboration between Heimat Berlin and communications, identity and thought leadership agency, Neutral Zurich.
The piece comes to Hornbach customers in the form of materials and instructions. They make that, too, themselves. The instructions are housed in a book designed by Data-Orbit, which includes a description of how Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way fits into the artistic practice of Ai Weiwei, a certificate of authenticity and an interview conducted with Ai Weiwei by art critic and curator, Hans Ulrich Obrist, about the project.
“We immediately loved the idea that anyone can own an original Ai Weiwei by means of their craftsmanship. This is a completely new type of project for our customers and fans,” commented Karsten Kühn, member of the Hornbach Baumarkt board of management.
A central motif in Ai Weiwei’s work is the concept of the readymade – an industrially manufactured object is redefined by the artist as a work of art. Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way consists of high-visibility safety jackets joined together by means of their zips to become a soft sculpture.
The cost of owning an Ai Weiwei you make yourself is just EUR 18.00 plus materials. The building instructions can be downloaded here. A TVC promoting the artwork is running on TV.