Press Release

Tate Modern Launches UNIQLO Tate Play Free Family Fun Begins This Summer with a Takeover of the Turbine Hall

Tate Exchange - 20 Years workshop, 2018

Image credit: Tate Exchange - 20 Years workshop, 2018 (c) Rob Harris

From 24 July to 29 August 2021, Tate Modern invites visitors of all ages to transform the floor of the Turbine Hall into a giant work of art. This extraordinary invitation 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, in partnership with UNIQLO. 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, 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.

Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, said: “The Gutai group saw children’s creativity as central to art. They put playfulness, self-expression and collaboration at the heart of their work – ideas which continue to inspire new generations of artists like Ei Arakawa today. This spectacular project will be the perfect way to launch UNIQLO Tate Play, a new series of regular activations, installations and experiences that will transform Tate Modern for families of all ages.”

"UNIQLO is honored and excited to be partnering once again with the world-renowned Tate Modern, particularly from 2021, the year we celebrate our 20th anniversary of the launch of our company in the United Kingdom,” said UNIQLO Europe CEO Taku Morikawa. "UNIQLO offers LifeWear, apparel that is designed and Made for All, and Tate offers Art for All. We share in the belief that there should be no barrier to art and creativity, regardless of age, location or ability, and we look forward to bringing families together to develop and grow together by participating in our new UNIQLO Tate Play workshops.’’

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 continues the company’s long-term global partnership with Tate Modern, building on the hugely successful earlier programme UNIQLO Tate Lates and their support for the current Yayoi Kusama exhibition.