“Actually, I have very little involvement in the production of my works. I mainly make the decisions. I prefer to have other people implement my ideas. Or maybe I just have an idea, and someone else can use it.”
Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds were installed at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2010. The installation included 100 million porcelain seeds, hand-painted in the town of Jingdezhen by 1,600 Chinese artisans, challenging the ideas of "Made in China" and mass consumption. It encouraged audience participation and imagined new ways that attendees could experience the work, as shown in the documentary.
Ai's openness about his involvement in the production of his work is shameless. It's no secret that many contemporary artists hardly create any of their own work outside of conceptualizing their construction and meaning. However, this is unimportant to Ai Weiwei's influence and statement with Sunflower Seeds. In the film, while building the 2007 Grapes, one of this workers poignantly says, “I’m just his hands. I’m like an assassin! He tells me, ‘Here’s some money, go kill this person.’ I wouldn’t ask him, ‘Why do you want him killed?’ That’s silly. You just get it done! We’re just hired assassins."