A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ai Weiwei: Sunflower seeds

It takes a village.  At the Mary Boone gallery this month the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei presents -Sunflower Seeds.   Each porcelain seed is produced and hand painted in the town of Jingdezhen outside of Beijing in northern Jiangxi, China.  For 1800 years this town has been in the business of making porcelain.  Originally it was produced exclusively for the Emperor's court.  Now the  community faces financial hardship with many  people bankrupt.  The Sunflower Seed project has taken about 6 years and has already taken it's place as an amazing point in the history of the town.  The project has employed 1600 people and every one there knows someone who has been a part of it.  Mr. Weiwei explains that the idea of the seeds comes from the painted images of Chairman Mao Tse-tung.  Many paintings or graphic posters of him included sunflowers because he was "the sun" and the sunflowers were his people.  The project debuted  at the Tate Modern in London October of  2010.  We our now able to view this serenely beautiful field of dreams and walk along it's parameter.   Your older children will be trusted to walk  around it and contemplate this amazing statement of unified human effort.     Perfect for 7 and up. On view through February 4, 2012.
Mary Boone Gallery  541 West 24 Street through 4 February 2012.