Apr 082011

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn (Ceramic Works, 5000 BCE-2010 CE) May 13-August 7, 2011. This is the first solo exhibition of works by the prominent Chinese artist to be presented in the United States outside of New York….

In these works, Ai Weiwei transforms ancient ceramic objects, including 7,000-year old Neolithic urns and Han dynasty vessels, by painting them with a “Coca-Cola” logo, dipping them into vats of industrial paint, smashing them on the ground, or grinding them into powder.

The largest piece in the exhibition is what appears to be a large pile of tiny sunflower seeds, a common street snack in China. Each seed, produced to scale, was painstakingly hand-crafted from porcelain. Weighing precisely one ton, the porcelain seeds were created by a team of workers in the town of Jingdezhen, China where porcelain has been produced for the past 1,700 years.

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