Monday Morning Inspiration: Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, one of China’s leading conceptual artists, recently installed his piece, Sunflower Seeds, into the interior of the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.  While at first glance all of the seeds look nearly identical, the exhibit actually consists of 100 million porcelain seeds that were each individually sculpted and painted in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen, which is known as the "porcelain capital" in China

When the exhibit was first installed, visitors were invited and even encouraged to walk, touch and  lay down in the seeds but last week they announced that the exhibition is now no longer open for human interaction due to the dust created when visitors walked on the seeds.  Either way,  I think the connotations typically associated with the term "Made in China," is brought into question.  The exhibit is up until May 2011 so if you are in London in the next seven months be sure to check it out.

*Photographs from the Tate and The Guardian