Faurschou Foundation
Faurschou Foundation
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Faurschou Foundation : Ai Weiwei
Ai Weiwei standing on 1.000.000 Sunflower Seeds in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. Photo by Andrew Dunkley, Tate Photography, В© Tate.

Faurschou Foundation

Ai Weiwei -В Sunflower Seeds |В New Website




A new website devoted to Ai Weiwei’s seminal artworkВ Sunflower SeedsВ is now being launched. В В 

No other work of contemporary art has raised the question of the relation between the mass and the individual, in all its ethical, spiritual and political implications as profoundly as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has done with this large sculpture. Being known worldwide for his outspoken critique of the regime in his home country, the work has provoked political interpretation and debate.

With texts, photos, and videos,В aiweiweiseeds.comВ gives a full overview of the versions and exhibition history of theВ Sunflower Seeds, as well as bibliography and reviews from a multitude of influential media and critics help to offer a reference of the work to scholars, collectors and the public. Faurschou Foundation has made the site in collaboration with Ai Weiwei Studio and the involved institutions that have shown this remarkable piece in it’s various versions.

Ai Weiwei initially conceivedВ Sunflower SeedsВ for his Unilever Series commission at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, opening in October 2010. Ai Weiwei’s take on the large hall was simple and complex, poetic and disturbing at the same time: He filled the Turbine Hall with a thick layer of sunflower seeds handcrafted in porcelain, a total of 100.000.000 seeds, with a total weight of 150 tons.

The layers of seeds, though simple in form, embody multiple meanings. Sunflower seeds are a common street snack in China, an everyday object from the artist’s childhood. It evokes the memory of hardships and hunger during the Cultural Revolution, and the era of socialist planned economy with the collective worship of the ”sun” – Chairman Mao.

Like Ai Weiwei’s other works, Sunflower Seeds is a work engaged in Chinese history and current political affairs, and also a project that can be accomplished only in this country. It concerns issues of mass production in China related to western consumerism and globalization. 

Sunflower SeedsВ is today widely acknowledged as one of the most important artworks defining the times we are living in.

Detail of Ai Weiwei’sВ Sunflower Seeds. Photo by Anders Sune Berg В© Faurschou Foundation.


In the 1970s and 1980s Ai Weiwei was a protagonist in a dynamic avant-garde movement in China that sparked off a great deal of activity on the Chinese art scene. Ai Weiwei’s career has steadily been gaining momentum over the past few decades, not least as a result of his controversial exhibition Fuck Off in connection to the Shanghai Biennial in 2000, his participation at Documenta 2007, his design of Bird’s Nest, the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, built in collaboration with Herzog & de Meuron, and his Sunflower Seeds for Unilever Series 2010 at Tate Modern. In 2010 Art Review listed Ai Weiwei as no. 1 on their Top 100 of most powerful people in the art world. There is no doubt that his 81 days of detention by the Chinese authorities in the spring of 2011 have given him an even more important position – both inside and outside the art world – and inside and outside China. Ai Weiwei is today one of the leading Chinese artists.


Faurschou Foundation consists of two privately funded exhibition spaces open to the public in Beijing and Copenhagen, established by Luise and Jens Faurschou. For 27 years they have mounted exhibitions of internationally acclaimed artists both in Denmark and abroad. With passion and an eye for quality Luise and Jens Faurschou uncompromisingly pursue their ambition to present highly esteemed contemporary art to the public. With confidence in and commitment to the artists chosen, they develop their art collection. Their collection is now partly accessible at the two exhibition spaces, where they curate exhibitions in collaboration with some of the world’s best artists, curators, museums and galleries. Admission to the exhibitions is free.



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