china

by Katherine Yaksich

I took this photograph in Mozambique on a drive to South Africa. Their eyes tell a deep rooted story, and I was curious about the Chinese characters on the side of their truck. “The Chinese are building things in exchange for mining rights, timber rights, fishing rights, and these are absolutely bad deals.” - Jim LaFleur, senior economist for Mozambique’s largest business association. “China is very clear about what it wants from Africa. Africa has absolutely no idea what it wants from China.” - Lucy Corkin, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University  
  Image   © Reuben Hernandez

I took this photograph in Mozambique on a drive to South Africa. Their eyes tell a deep rooted story, and I was curious about the Chinese characters on the side of their truck. “The Chinese are building things in exchange for mining rights, timber rights, fishing rights, and these are absolutely bad deals.” - Jim LaFleur, senior economist for Mozambique’s largest business association. “China is very clear about what it wants from Africa. Africa has absolutely no idea what it wants from China.” - Lucy Corkin, Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University

Image © Reuben Hernandez

by Katherine Yaksich

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.  
 Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports.  Sunflower Seeds  invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.

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. 

Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.