Ai Weiwei fills Tate with seeds

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has filled the Tate Modern’s turbine hall with 100 million ‘seeds’.  The grey expanse on first impression suggests industrial production when in fact, the objects have been hand-crafted and painted by artisans in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.  Made of porcelain, each seed is unique. Visitors are invited to stroll upon them, to pick them up and examine them – but you can’t take one home.  The artist seems to be at odds with the Tate’s ruling, stating: “If I was in the audience I would definitely want to take a seed”.  Removed from the masses, each finely crafted object becomes a thing in itself, and it’s this tension between the combined and the singular that makes the installation so elegant.

The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern, Bankside, London, until 2 May 2011.

Ai Weiwei fills Tate with seeds

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