Artist fills Tate Modern with sunflower seeds

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has unveiled his latest installation at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall - he's filled it with 100 million sunflower seeds.

But the bizarre work gets even stranger when you realise the seed husks, covering the east end of the Turbine Hall, are in fact a unique porcelain replicas.

Weiwei says the porcelain seeds were specially produced by hand for the commission in the city of Jingdezhen, China, and they took thousands of people two years to create.

Each ceramic seed was moulded, fired at 1300°C, hand-painted and then fired again at 800°C.

The artist says the work is representative of the Cultural Revolution... or it could just be used to confuse the world's hungriest parrot.
275x250.jpg Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator, Tate Modern said: "Ai Weiwei has created a truly unique experience for visitors to this year's Unilever Series.

The sense of scale and quality of craftsmanship achieved in each small perfectly formed sunflower seed is astonishing.

"In trying to comprehend their sheer quantity, Ai provokes a multitude of ideas, from the way we perceive number and value, to the way we engage with society at large."

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