Tate Acquires Eight Million Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds for Permanent Collection

Sunflower Seeds 2010. Courtesy The Guardian

The Tate has purchased 8 million of Ai Weiwei’s sunflower seeds, just about 8 percent of the 100 million small, porcelain objects that first debuted at the museum’s Turbine Hall in 2010.

The seeds are all produced and painted by hand by Chinese craft workers. Mr. Ai has suggested they be arranged either in a rectangle (as they were at a recent exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery) or as a cone.

The Guardian called the acquisition of 8 million tiny sculptures the Tate’s “largest number of works of art ever.”