Ai Weiwei "Sunflower Seeds" @ Mary Boone Gallery, NYCJuxtapoz // Saturday, 07 Jan 2012
In 2010, in the Grand Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London, Chinese artist became even more famous with his incredible Sunflower Seeds installation. Tonight, January 7, Weiwei will open the installation again, this time at Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.
According to Mary Boone, the installation "is a field comprised of millions (five tons) of hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds. Each actual-size seed is unique and intricately hand-formed and painted by artisans in the historic porcelain-producing city of Jingdezhen in northern Jiangxi, China.
"The sunflower, with its destiny to follow the sun, became a common metaphor for The People during China’s Cultural Revolution. At the same time, the seeds of the flower provided sustenance at all levels of society, and the ubiquitous discarded husks provided evidence of an individual’s existence. Ai Weiwei demonstrates that a staggering quantity of individual seeds may produce a deceptively unified field. The work is a commentary on social, political and economic issues pertinent to contemporary China: the role of the individual versus the masses, and China’s long history of labor-intensive production and export."
Sunflower Seeds is on view at 541 West 24 Street through 4 February 2012. All images are of the installation at Tate Modern.