Chinese artist in London protest on Ai's 'Sunflower Seeds'
A man breached security Saturday at Britain's international modern art gallery to stage a demonstration on fellow Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's "Sunflower Seeds" exhibition.
In a one-man protest about the difficulty of working as an artist, Cai Yuan walked on Ai's artwork of more than 100 million porcelain "seeds", which cover 1,000 square metres (10,760 square feet) of the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
Visitors were meant to be able to walk on Ai's exhibition but were barred from doing so last month over fears about breathing in porcelain dust.
Cai, who lives in Oxford, southern England, and moved to the Britain 27 years ago, wore a t-shirt which read: "I'm a real artist. I know 3 gallerists. I speak 2 languages. Fought for 27 years. Have 4 children. And no work for 27 years. But I only want one job."
Cai, 54, has performed similar stunts before with famous artworks, including jumping on Tracey Emin's unmade bed and trying to urinate on Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" urinal.
Speaking after the hour-long protest, he said: "It went really well. I was surrounded by hundreds of people. At the end I shook their hands and said 'Hello, how do you do?'
"I told security this is art and a protest. I want to let people know my message through the text on my t-shirt and let people know what's happening to the state of art.
"My intention is to create another new piece of work."
© 2010 AFP