遍地開花 (bian-di-kai-hua – Blossom Everywhere)
An artist response to Ai WeiWei’s arrest
Bring to blossom Ai WeiWei’s 100 million of sunflower seeds presented at Tate Modern, by symbolically arranging sunflowers-like Chinese traditional hats to open within and around the museum, as a sign that adversity and repression cannot silence people’s voice.
Sunflower seeds, a metaphor for Chinese people turning toward the Sun i.e. leader Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution, express the idea that each seed brings its own value to the world. Each sunflower umbrella would convey a powerful message to today’s Chinese authorities.
Ai has been active commenting on the lack of Human Rights in PRC since 2008. For that reason, he has been banned to hold any exhibition in his homeland.
When local authorities at Beijingairport arrested Ai on April 3rd, the artist was heading toTaiwan viaHong Kong to discuss his solo exhibition at Taipei Fine art Museum, scheduled in November 2011. Following the logic of PRC government officials arguing thatTaiwan is part ofChina, the exhibition inTaiwan would have been the artist’s first solo exhibition at home for some time.
Taiwanese artist Vincent J.F. Huang, whose recent performance Habeas Corpus (London, December 2010) was a homage to Liu’s Peace Nobel Prize award, is planning a series of Blossom performances across the world to support Ai’s release.
Huang is in direct contact with Ai’s mother, who is fully supportive of the Blossom project.
The Project at Tate Modern
Ai’s current exhibition at Tate Modern makes it the obvious focus point for launching the Blossom project, with plans to then spread the blossoming across the world.
Venue: Tate Modern, Turbine Hall / 3F Balcony / front square
Timing: Sunday 1 May 2011
Duration: 2 hours maximum
Participants: general public, invited in situ and via online communities
Props: 150 umbrellas and hats at minima (shifted fromTaiwan)
Support from Tate Modern
In view of the public support demonstrated by Tate in favour of Ai’s release (“Release Ai WeiWei’ sign on the museum frontispiece, Call by Tate Directors for his release on Change.org etc), artist Vincent J.F. Huang would be extremely grateful to receive whatever support Tate organisation would be willing to grant, such as:
- Agreement for the artist and his helpers to hand out umbrellas to the general public outside Tate Modern and to allow umbrellas to be open within the museum;
- Support letter to the artist, to assist him in his sponsorship efforts (e.g. from Taiwanese government);
- Assistance in communicating about the performance (e.g. announcement on Tate Modern website, press release, curatorial words etc)
- Authorisation to display a large sunflower on Tate Modern roof (please refer to illustration further down), until Ai’s release.
Plans are being arranged to spread the performance around the world, such as inHong Kong,Taiwan,Sydney, and even inBeijingandShanghai.
The artist is also in discussion with Weldon Kennedy, Director of Change.org, to gain the support of other art institutions having signed Call for the Release of Ai WeiWei.
Artist : Vincent JF HAUNG firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 78 0172 0707 (London)