Monday, March 5, 2012
Ai Weiwei | Sunflower Seeds
The Guardian reports today that the Tate Gallery has purchased Ai Weiwei's 2010 work Sunflower Seeds, which consists of 10 cubic metres (up to 8 million) sunflower seeds. The seeds, sculpted out of porcelain by Chinese artisans, can be displayed either as a conical pile or as a square or rectangular bed.
The purchase price has not been disclosed, but last year Sotheby's sold a 100 kg bag for approximately $550 000 CDN. In 2009 a jar filled with 1000 seeds was available in an edition of 30 (plus 12 artist's proofs), from the New Museum. The glass jar (which some sources list as being "handmade" and others have it sourced from Ikea) is inscribed with the artist's name and the title of the work, and measures 16 x 11 x 11 cm. It was available for $7500 US.