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Reflection on the Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei at Tate Modern

Autor:   •  March 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  537 Words (3 Pages)  •  880 Views

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Reflection on The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei at Tate Modern

Marketing & Operations

I visited the Tate Modern and saw the Ai Weiwei sun flower seeds piece in the turbine hall. The floor in the huge hall is covered with 100 million little black and white sunflower seeds made of porcelain. They were all hand made and painted by hand and therefore every single piece is unique.

It took hundreds of Chinese workers several years to make every seed, according to the Tate website. One of the aims with the art piece was to show visitors and consumers that there is more to China than cheap mass production. The seeds were in one way mass produced (they are so incredibly many!) but by made by hand and in smaller Chinese work shops and not in big factories.

The artist wanted to celebrate Chinese handicraft and the country's tradition of producing very fine porcelain. He also wanted to raise the questions about democracy in his home country China (Jones, 2010) and people's aim for individuality in today's society. The seeds look alike, they are blended together, but if you compare them one and one, you will find that they are all different. Just like people.

The artwork is truly an impressive sight. The amount of time and effort spent on it is unbelievable and that really strikes you as you are viewing the piece. It is such a wonderful thought that every detail and every part is made by the hands of a person and not a machine. It does make every seed important, because there is thought and effort put in to every little seed. Each seed is shaped and painted to perfection by a craftsman/artist.

Visitors were supposed to be able to walk around on the field of seeds, see what it feels like, what it sounds like and pick the seeds up, touch them. Unfortunately the dust that rose from the seeds when visitors walked on them

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