Created in the kilns of Jindezhen, Small Plate with Flowers recalls the five-year period in which Ai Weiwei was barred from leaving China. Following his 2011 arrest and secret detention of 81 days, the artist’s passport was confiscated upon his release and a battery of surveillance cameras were installed around his studio house in Beijing. On November 30, 2013, Ai announced that he would begin the daily practice of placing a bouquet of fresh flowers in the bicycle basket outside of his studio until his passport was returned. He then photographed these flowers and shared them across social media platforms: the images were widely disseminated by supporters under the tag “FlowersForFreedom”. Ai continued this action for 600 days, until his passport was returned to him on July 22, 2015. Weiwei has said, "When we think of flowers, we think of the beauty and freedom in life. We started to create some works related to flowers, and these porcelain plates were one of the results.


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About Ai Weiwei

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Ai Weiwei is an activist, architect, curator, and filmmaker whose work is rooted in political urgency and contemporary relevance. Rebar and Case is his sculptural installation that draws on the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province, which left 70,000 casualties including over 5,000 student deaths. In the tragedy’s aftermath, the government failed to release the names and numbers of the victims, and in response, Ai Weiwei organized a Citizens’ Investigation, which set out to identify each individual child. The Work Center is particularly honored to present this work during the 10-year anniversary of the earthquake. Additional notable installations include Sunflower Seeds (2010) at the Tate Modern, where he scattered 100 million porcelain “seeds” handpainted by 1,600 Chinese artisans; his infamous Han Dynasty Urn with Coca Cola Logo (1993), a Han Dynasty urn emblazoned with the ubiquitous soft-drink logo; and the “Bird’s Nest” stadium for Beijing’s 2008 Olympics, where he served as artistic design consultant.

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Please note there is an additional MA sales tax charge of 6.25% to all MA-based zip codes. This work is subject to the condition that it shall not be resold for at least five years.

Small Plate with Flowers, 2014
Lot Number 30
12 x 12 x 1.25 in (30.48 x 30.48 x 3.18 cm)
Edition of 100
Courtesy of Artist and Chambers Fine Art

Online bidding for this work ended on August 17, 2018 at 5:00pm ET.

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Ai Weiwei
Small Plate with Flowers
  • Dimensions
    12 x 12 x 1.25 in (30.48 x 30.48 x 3.18 cm)