Chinese art barricaded

Installation>> Pollution • UK/China

Published: Tuesday 16 November 2010

imageChinese artist Ai Weiwei had intended interactive art.

But his offering of 100 million sunflower seeds handcrafted from porcelain covering London’s Tate Modern’s lower floor was fenced off two days after the public opening on October 25—for health concerns.

The danger of inhaling dust from the Chinese porcelain seeds was deemed too great to allow visitors to trudge, walk and play on the thick grey carpet.

“You are supposed to be making your own design from the seeds. Barricading defeats its purpose,” said artist Clair Reed. John Chen art student from Hong Kong, was perplexed. "These seeds were handmade by 1,600 peasant girls in China. If it was not poisonous for them then why is it harmful to us?” Ai was, however, nonplussed. “No interaction is also a kind of interaction,” he said.

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