Thursday, 7 April 2011

Tate Modern: Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds

Ai Weiwei exhibited Sunflower Seeds as part of the Unilever Series in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. Ai deals with the theme of individualism in society, particularly in the context of modern China. I found this work interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it was created by several families in a village in China renowned for its porcelain making. It made me think about skills that have been useful in the past but maybe now are less in demand, or have perhaps been replaced by machinery. Secondly this work was intended to be viewed in two ways, up close or from the Turbine Hall bridge. By the time I saw the exhibition people were no longer allowed to walk on top of the installation due to health concerns about the porcelain dust. I thought that was pretty interesting... the intention to have the public interact with the artwork, but to be censored in the end by safety regulations.

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