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Ai Weiwei's 'Sunflower Seeds' Cover Tate Modern Hall Like a Sea of Twitter Users

ai weiwei's 'sunflower seeds'
Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has just completed a breathtaking installation at the Tate Modern, with the help of 1,600 Chinese artisans. One hundred million hand-painted porcelain sunflower seeds cover the 10,700-square-foot floor of Turbine Hall, a 150-ton sea that Weiwei likens to Twitter, of which he is an avid user.

"All together there is shared information and many ideas, which creates something beautiful and important," he told Reuters yesterday. Weiwei turned to Twitter after he was beaten and had his blogs censored by Chinese authorities in response to his investigation into the casualties of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. "Every day (I spend) many hours with many different people (on Twitter)," he said, claiming that 'Sunflower Seeds' -- which invokes the ideas of individualism, craftsmanship and mass production -- was a reflection of the "shared information and participation" to which the mass of lone Twitter users contribute. The installation, which is the eleventh in a series for the Tate Modern, and follows epic works by artists like Doris Salcedo and Olafur Eliasson, is on view until May 2nd, 2011.

Tags: AiWeiwei, art, DorisSalcedo, OlafurEliasson, porcelain, SichuanEarthquake, SunflowerSeeds, TateModern, top, TurbineHall, twitter