Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds Have Their Own Website


Most artists only have one website — maybe two, if they’re represented by a gallery. Ai Weiwei, on the other hand, is wracking them up; In addition to his personal site and those maintained by the various galleries that show his work — not to mention his hyperactive Twitter feed — the Chinese artist and activist now has, by our count, three websites each devoted to a single project. There’s the “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” site, which tracks that roving public sculpture project’s movements. There’s his recently-launched, web-based, participatory collaboration with Olafur Eliasson, “Moon.” And now the tends of thousands of tiny sunflower seeds he had fabricated for his Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern — which have now spread to the four corners of the art world — have a site of their own as well.

The single-artwork site is maintained by the Faurschou Foundation, the Copenhagen- and Beijing-based art space operated by collectors Luise and Jens Faurschou. In addition to a massive five-ton pile of Ai’s sunflower seeds, the Faurschous have among their holdings his sculpture “Map of China,” which is made of wood reclaimed from demolished temples, the giant “World Map” sculptural installation, his Vladimir Tatlin homage “Fountain of Lights,” and a pair of his porcelain vase installations.

Their dedicated “Sunflower Seeds” website’s most helpful feature — in addition to a fairly comprehensive list of the places where they’ve been shown — may be this breakdown of the various groupings and editions into which the seeds have been divided, from 100 and 15 tons piles to glass jars containing 1,000 seeds each for the collector on a budget.

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Photo by the author.)