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Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds at the Tate Modern

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[ARTS IN BRIEF] Ai Weiwei’s new 100m² sculptural instillation covers the east end of the Tate’s Turbine Hall

This piece will immerse the viewer into a landscape of thousands of sunflower seeds. Made from Imperial porcelein, each is designed ot be unique. Variation is only noticeable on close inspection. Their delicacy has impact, as the seeds were handcrafted by artisans in the Jingdezhen, China, with the process of moulding, firing, hand-painting, and firing again taking just over two years.

The result is the impression of mass production under the force of traditional craftsmanship. Ai intends this to reflect on the tension between the two types of production in present-day China.

Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator, Tate Modern, says the instillation is ‘a truly unique experience’ which ‘provokes a multitude of ideas’.

Ai Weiwei lives and works in Beijing, where he was born in 1957. Ai founded the architecture and design firm Fake Design and co-founded the China Art Archives and Warehouse in Beijing. He has held solo art exhibitions previously, at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo and Haus der Kunst, Munich; and has contributed to group exhibitions at the São Paulo Biennial, Documenta 12, Kassel, Germany and Tate Liverpool, UK.

Tate Modern, Turbine Hall
12 October 2010 – 2 May 2011
Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00
Admission free


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