drawing from the life and work of ai weiwei, red hong yi has created a larger-than-life portrait of the celebrated chinese artist in homage to his symbolically significant work. red has used 20,000 seeds to carefully compose the image of weiwei’s famous portrait with his hands stretching his eyes wide open. the small, edible objects have been reconsidered as an artistic medium, and are meticulously arranged to create the hyperrealistic likeness of the artist’s eyes, nose, mouth and hands. 

 

 

 

 

red sprinkled 20,000 seeds onto a canvas to create the portrait of ai weiwei, an artist who is ‘forever questioning and asking for accountability from establishments through his art,’ she expresses. the piece is inspired by weiwei’s quote — the seed is a household object but at the same time it is a revolutionary symbol — which he described at the opening of his exhibition at the tate modern in 2010. weiwei’s installation at the tate filled the london museum’s turbine hall with thousands of life-sized sunflower seeds intricately hand-crafted in porcelain. through her portrait of the artist, red intends to encourage people across the world to have the bravery and courage to think and see clearly, and to protect freedom of expression.

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