A Ton of Tea
A Ton of Tea

© Ai Weiwei, courtesy Lisson Gallery. Image credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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This sculpture is formed of one cubic metre ton of compressed and richly scented pu-erh tea. In using the humble substance of tea – China’s oldest export – Ai Weiwei references globalisation. Historically, tea was compressed into blocks using a tea press, for easy transportation. The sculpture also references post-war art history, specifically Minimalism.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery



A Ton of Tea




pu-erh tea


H 100 x W 100 x D 100 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by the Art Fund under Art Fund International, 2011

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Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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