From 24 July to 29 August 2021, the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall will be transformed into a giant work of art. This is part of a transformative project by artist Ei Arakawa, which will launch UNIQLO Tate Play, Tate Modern’s new free programme of playful art-inspired activities for families. And this is just the beginning. More things for families to see and do will be unveiled in upcoming school holidays, as well as free workshops and creative materials on offer during term time.
UNIQLO Tate Play’s first project will be inspired by the Gutai group, radical Japanese artists who wanted to change the world through painting, performance and children’s play. For the group’s Outdoor Gutai Art Exhibition of 1956, Yoshihara Jirō created the groundbreaking work Please Draw Freely, a large board on which people were free to draw and paint. To kick off UNIQLO Tate Play, contemporary artist Ei Arakawa will expand and draw inspiration from this idea at Tate Modern as a gigantic interactive installation: Mega Please Draw Freely.
Mega Please Draw Freely will see thousands of visitors completely transform the Turbine Hall by covering the floor with doodles, drawings, scribbles and sketches. The floor will be coated in a temporary surface to allow people of all ages to draw on it with crayons and drawing materials provided for free.
Arakawa will surround visitors with large tree sculptures in homage to the Gutai group’s love of outdoor art, and adults and children can join free workshops to collectively create huge banners to hang from the hall’s ceiling, echoing the Gutai Sky Festival of 1960 where paintings were suspended in the air.
To coincide with Arakawa’s Mega Please Draw Freely, Yoshihara’s original Please Draw Freely installation will be restaged outside Tate Modern. Boards will be available for the public to draw on every day from 10:00 until 18:00, with each person’s contribution becoming a new layer in an ever-changing work of art. Surrounded by trees, sky and water, the locations reflect Yoshihara’s belief that art should be open and participatory, and accessible to adults and children alike. Visitors can also find out more about Gutai in a free display on level 4 of the Blavatnik Building at Tate Modern.
UNIQLO Tate Play will continue throughout the year with a new project launching this autumn. Always taking inspiration from the art on display at Tate Modern, free activities and events will keep offering families new ways to play together and get creative. This is a must-see for the kids this year!