In the past, Ai Weiwei has created works of art in a number of different mediums including video, photography, and sculpture.
In preparation for an upcoming series done entirely in LEGO bricks, the Chinese artist attempted to place a large bulk order with the Danish company. Much to Ai's surprise, the company quickly let him know that it would not be able to sell the plastic blocks to him.
Ai's politically-charged art, the company explained, violated its policy of not supporting "political, religious, racist, obscene or defaming statements."
"As a powerful corporation, Lego is an influential cultural and political actor in the globalized economy with questionable values," Ai wrote in a scathing Instagram post. "Lego's refusal to sell its product to the artist is an act of censorship and discrimination."
The company's decision to take a stance against his art is a peculiar one, given its emphasis on artistic creativity.
In an interview with the BBC, LEGO spokesmen Roar Rude Trangbaek insisted that the company "respects any individual's right to free, creative expression," but would not address its interactions with Ai specifically.
In the hours since Ai shared his interaction with LEGO to his followers, people from around the world have begun creating brick sculptures of their own to show their support.
In response to the outpouring of support, Ai has announced that he plans on continuing his art series and will be setting up LEGO collection bins in different cities for people to contribute to the project.