Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 1 inches (framed)
Medium: Hand-painted porcelain sunflower seed from the artist's infamous exhibit. Comes mounted on white with black hardwood frame. Also includes show flyer. (sunflower seed is NOT glued or affixed to mat board)
Provenance: Signed in the plate. Includes show card with information about the exhibit. Gallery certificate of authenticity also included.
Edition: Open Edition (Sold Out)
ABOUT THE ART
Ai Weiwei initially conceived 'Sunflower Seeds' for his Unilever Series commission at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, opening in October 2010. Ai Weiwei's take on the large hall was simple and complex, poetic and disturbing at the same time: He filled the Turbine Hall with a thick layer of sunflower seeds handcrafted in porcelain, a total of 100.000.000 seeds, with a total weight of 150 tons.
Like Ai Weiwei’s other works, 'Sunflower Seeds' is a work closely related to the society, politics and economy in China, and also a project that can be accomplished only in this country. It alludes to the globalization and mass production in China that caters to western consumerism, and to the deemed insignificant element at the bottom of the production chain - thousands of cheap labors, assembly lines in gigantic factories, and tedious procedures. Absurdly, 'Sunflower Seeds' provided work for 1,600 artisans in Jingdenzhen, a fact that is an ironic reflection of the social reality.
Employing diverse media and techniques, as well as dexterity, wit and humor, Ai Weiwei has been creating ”social sculptures” rooted in contemporary Chinese society. In 'Sunflower Seeds', we can also get a glimpse of the relationship between the individual and the collective implied in 'Fairytale' (2007), the adapt inheritance of traditional techniques in 'Through' (2007-08), the symbolic and metaphoric appliance of materials in 'World Map' (2006), and his influential outspoken publicity through the social network. Ai’s deft transforming of local resources into a both poetic and provocative statement of contemporary art intelligently and audaciously subverts the tradition and encourages the reform. 'Sunflower Seeds' expresses Ai Weiwei’s responsibility as an artist, “Seeds grow...The crowd will have its way, eventually.”