Thursday, May 26

Feeling a little deflated but trying to Love the Future

Back to reality this week. My gorgeous friend Maddy has returned home (and taken back all the holiday cheer she arrived with); work is especially hectic at the moment; I miss my mum (and feel slightly homesick); and I just discovered that this amazing artist has been put in detention for no good reason. 
Three good reasons to feel uninspired and flat this week.

 Detroit based artist Tracey Tilley here

International governments, human rights groups and art institutions (like The Tate Modern, London, above) have called for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's release. You can read more about Ai here or at ye olde faithful friend (for lazy linkers) here ...........Ai's accountant, studio partner, driver and assistant all disappeared around the time of his arrest and remain missing (all thought to be connected to Ai's detainment).
More here at the official Free Ai Weiwei dot org

Sunflower Seeds sculpture, Ai Weiwei, The Tate Modern, London 12th October, 2010 - 10th May, 2011

Made up of 100 million hand made porcelain sunflower seeds (yes 100 million!), visitors could frolic, play, rest and truly interact with this fantastic installation. Imagine the lovely crunching sounds this incredible porcelain carpet would have made underfoot.

Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain. Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.  
(taken from The Tate Modern blurb)

Visitors at The Lisson Gallery, London also appeal for his release.

Ai Weiwei was arrested by Chinese authorities on April 3rd, 2011. Police detained him for weeks without laying any official charges. He was finally charged (with tax evasion) 49 days after his arrest, thought to be an unfounded excuse to silence his criticism of the government (which you can read more about here)
The artist had remained uncontactable and his whereabouts unknown, for 6 whole weeks. Finally, on May 15th, Ai's wife, Lu Qing was briefly allowed to meet him, 'for a short while'. Politics aside, what a sad and upsetting story. How desperate, how depressing would it be to endure a forced separation from a loved one with so much uncertainty. For balance, here is one Chinese diplomat's defense of the arrest. See I'm fair!

Ai Weiwei with his Sunflower seeds. Wow! I am in awe of 100,000,000 porcelain kernels.

To rally citizens to protest the detention of Ai Weiwei, online commentators have taken up the slogan "Love the Future," (爱未来) which both resembles and sounds similar to Ai's name (艾未未) (here and here)

Love the Future is a great slogan and while I am feeling a bit like a deflated balloon found at the end of the party (when all the guests have gone home and it's time to clean up), it's a nice phrase to focus on - a slogan of hopefulness.You are in my thoughts, Ai Weiwei.
(You can go here if you would like to petition the Chinese Ministry of Culture)


mrs c. said...

hugz sent from here to you :)
definately know what it's like to have sad days.
thanks for sharing the info on ai weiwei - i had heard of his detention but not much else - and i did not know of his sunflower seeds.
i'm heading over to the petition now.
take care of you.
mrs c. xox

sarah said...

Aww thank you mrs c! I actually chatted to my mum for about an hour tonight night and felt much better. Still, the Ai Weiwei stuff remains strange and sad, but so are a lot of things. Thanks for your kind thoughts. xo

Goose Vintage said...

We're fascinated by the Sunflowers and wish we could crunch around in them in honor of the artist and in hope for his release.