Art / Design, England

Sunflower Seeds

I had been looking forward to seeing the latest Tate installation Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei for a week or two now. I had of course heard that health & safety stopped people walking on the seeds due to the high levels of dust that got kicked up in the first 24 hours…

After another Saturday at work, I walked to the Tate to finally see for myself. I have to tell you, I completely loved it. In case you haven’t read about it, there are around 100 million Sunflower Seeds laid through the main turbine hall however, each is a porcelain replica. Hand painted by 1,600 artisans in Jingdezhen, China, with around 3 or 4 brush strokes on each side; 150 tonnes of incredible effort has gone into the completion of this work. The ‘whether-we-can-walk-on-it-or-not’ discussion seems totally irrelevant to me. Seeing alone was breathtaking.

If you visit this to see for yourself, be sure to watch the fascinating documentary and see how this work bought happiness and business to the people who painted the seeds. I liked this work because, like Anthony Gormley’s Field project, it is about people and community.

Ai Wei Wei Tate 1

Ai Wei Wei Tate 2

Ai Wei Wei Tate 3

Ai Wei Wei Tate 4

Ai Wei Wei Tate 5

Ai Wei Wei Tate 6

Ai Wei Wei Tate 7


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