Ai Weiwei

I was watching the news last night and saw this piece on Ai Weiwei http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13346223 .

Ai Weiwei has been in the news before for his work which was shown in the Tate Modern entitled The Unilever Series, a work consisting of 100 million of actual sized porcelain sunflower seeds.  The work was handcrafted and each seed husk, although forming part of a huge piece of work are all as individual as a human being.  The work fills the Turbine Hall and creates a vast landscape which could be viewed from around the edges (at the beginning of the exhibition it was possible to walk upon the seeds and touch them but due to health worries this was stopped shortly after opening).  The work uses a product which China is well-known for and was made in China by hundreds of workers.  It makes us as the audience look more closely at the “Made In China” phenomena.  For me as a participant in viewing the work it makes me question myself, what makes me so unique in a world full of hundreds of people?  I am only one seed in this 100 million.

Another work of Ai Weiwei’s is the Web Of Light that was displayed at Liverpool’s Beinniel, The International Festival of Contemporary Art and spanned the length of the Exchange’s Flags.  Ai’s work celebrates the spider whom he sees as natures greatest architect.  The work was lit with LED’s and lit up the night.

I like Ai Weiwei’s work as both of them are large-scale but both completely different and get the viewer asking different questions or just looking at in amazement.  Both pieces may be completely different in their make-up and in presentation but both look to nature for inspiration and to make points.  The spider has made me more aware of how these creatures live and work and in the beauty they create which is also architecturally sound.  It has made me more aware of my surroundings, as has The Unilever Series.

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