Ai Weiwei has always been one of my favorite contemporary Chinese artists and political activist. His recent installation at London’s Tate Modern consists of 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds carpeting the floor of the main hall. Each seed has been individually hand-made by workers in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.
What is the exhibition about? Is this about the way we look at China? Do we see a label that says ‘Made in China’ and inwardly shrug at the thought of millions of faceless factory workers? Do we see this people oppressed by the Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao? What does it mean to be an individual in today’s society? Or about the skilled craftsmen, whose skills are no longer needed since industrialisation? All this, yes, and more….
According to the news Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3rd. He remains uncontactable and his whereabouts are unknown. We hope that he will be released as soon as possible. For the freedom of speech…
Go and see the installation soon – It ends on May 2nd… And don’t miss the related short film they are showing. It is so interesting to see the idea, production and people behind this exhibition!