Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern

A vast carpet of porcelain replica sunflower seeds assembled by artist Ai Weiwei, each hand-fired and hand-painted by inhabitants of Jingdezhen, the ‘porcelain capital’ of his native China.

Ai Weiwei poses with a handful of seeds at this morning’s press view. (Lennart Preiss/AP)

Workers rake the ‘seeds’ in preparation for the opening; more than 100 million are said to be spread across the floor of the hall. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

A close-up photograph of some of the seeds, each kiln-fired twice: once before being hand-painted, once again after. Each is unique. (David Levene for the Guardian)

Tate Modern staff begin to lay out the seeds. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Visitors will be encouraged to walk across the installation and pick the seeds up – but not to steal them. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

They will even be allowed to lie down, should they choose … (Fiona Hanson/PA)

A close-up of the seeds piled on the floor of the Turbine Hall. (David Levene for the Guardian)

A photographer zooms in for a worm’s-eye view. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

Sunflower seeds are an omnipresent Chinese snack, but also were a common food during the harsh years of the Cultural Revolution. Some may also think of sweatshop-powered globalisation. (David Levene for the Guardian)

(David Levene for the Guardian)

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