Sunflower Seeds

One of the shows I went to see over the weekend, which I failed to mention, was Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds. I was really looking forward to seeing it after watching the short documentary about how the 5 tons of porcelain sunflower seeds provided work for an entire town for months.

Very labor intensive to mold and hand paint thousands upon thousands of seeds.  Then of course, they show Ai Weiwei walking on the seeds at the show in London and I was just dying to feel the seeds and walk on them myself.  I wanted to touch these seeds, maybe even put a few in my pocket.

So, I read that the seeds were coming to NYC. The opening was this past Saturday. I dragged my poor husband to see the “Sunflower Seeds”. Of course Ai Weiwei wasn’t there since he can’t leave China anymore because the Chinese government is so mad at him.  I was going to have a few seeds for myself. I was going to at least be able to feel them, right? It was a giant gallery room typical of the Chelsea scene. There was a big rectangle on the floor with the seeds neatly placed about 2 or 3 inches high. 30 Or 40 people were all milling around looking at these seeds. A security guard was standing there to make sure you didn’t touch those precious seeds. Maybe I’m just not enlightened enough, not artsy enough, but I was so hyped up for the concept that the execution left me rather deflated. On some level, I guess it made sense. If those seeds represent the Chinese people, then it makes sense that we can’t touch them, but only look at them from a far. I wonder if that was Ai Weiwei’s original intention.  I still wanted to put some in my pocket…


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