Archive for the ‘Cai Guo-Qiang’ Category
All those of a certain age (you know who you are) will remember fondly the Griswald’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the brilliance of the comedy coupled with some of the most garish Christmas decorations in history but the famous Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang is planning a daytime fireworks show including a Christmas Tree that will simply take your breath away.
To celebrate the Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary this Friday this amazing event will be held at 3:00pm in front of the Freer Gallery. The Freer Gallery, which opened in 1923, is the Smithsonian’s first fine arts museum. The gallery houses a world-renowned collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East.
Visitors to the Gallery will be able to see the explosive event for themselves. It is going to have over 2000 fireworks and including specialist lighting and smoke to create a beautiful sight on the 40 foot high pine tree. Cai, internationally renowned for taking the mundane and moving it to another level has said that this will be the perfect union of mother nature and art.
The event will feature three separate explosions. The first will only last a couple of seconds so if you are going along you will have to have your wits about you in order to capture it on camera. The next section will involve a small number of continuous explosions on the tree which will give the effect of twinkling and finally, there will be lights, smoke and the twinkling together to create the full lit tree effect.
This has not been tried in advance as this goes against the artistes ethos as he would rather experience the whole thing for the first time along with the gathered crowds. He has said that the whole thing should, with the addition of the smoke, look like a tree in an ethereal setting but if the wind changes direction, this could affect the display which will result in the whole thing being obliterated by black smoke.
We have featured works by this fantastic artist before including daytime fireworks and they all create art using fireworks out of their usual setting. The Christmas Tree event is not the first exhibition he has held in Washington as he created a giant tornado for the Kennedy Centre and a huge ship in the Sackler Gallery some years ago. We will feature footage of this event once it is available.
Cai is in the USA to receive the first State Department Medal of Arts along with a number of other noted artists.
Wait. Have i got this right? He’s gonna shoot the fireworks at us?
That was the general concern on Saturday 7th April 2012 as the world famous Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang readied his explosion show outside the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. After all, fireworks should go up, vertical, away from people – not towards them!
But Cai didn’t get his reputation as a world renowned pyro artist by doing what’s expected. “Mystery Circle” would be no exception.
“You will witness something remarkable,” said Jeffrey Deitch, MOCA’s director, in his short opening remarks. He added, “It’s going to go by very quickly. Make sure you don’t miss it”.
You couldn’t if you tried. Around 1940 the sky rapidly darkened, the 2 minute warning was given, then it was 1 minute, 30 seconds, 10 seconds, a spirited countdown and then boom.
40,000 rockets, arranged on the northern wall of the Geffen Contemporary in a crop circle like pattern, exploded outward in a massive display of light, heat and sound. The packed crowd, gathered just a little to the side and at a safe distance away, went wild. Most cheered ecstatically; though many were seen to duck and cover.
“I think I pulled a muscle,” said one, straightening up after the explosion nearly toppled her. “It looked like a firework was about to hit me in the face!
But it wasn’t over. As the remnants of the crop circles burned on the wall, greenish UFO spinners were launched and, in the final phase, the headpiece of an alien god figure ignited in a finale of explosions. The whole shebang, part of the Cai’s lifelong project to connect with space and extraterrestrials through art, lasted a little under 2 minutes.
Everything might not have gone off exactly as planned, some people were left wondering whether the UFOs actually achieved lift off, but that’s part of Cai’s process: preparing meticulously, but accepting the unexpected.
Cai, who directed the visual and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, still remembers his first time launching a single rocket at a canvas, when he was a young artist in the early 1980′s.
“Never did I think that 30 years later”, Cai said through a translator Saturday night, “I’d be using 40,000 rockets and lighting them off all at the same time”.
Here is more of Cai Guo-Qiang amazing work:
Painting With Fireworks - http://epicfireworks.com/blog/2012/04/painting-with-fireworks/
Gunpowder Creates A Beautiful Piece Of Artwork - http://epicfireworks.com/blog/2009/12/gunpowder-creates-a-beautiful-piece-of-artwork/
Qatar In Biggest Ever Daytime Fireworks Show - http://epicfireworks.com/blog/2011/12/qatar-in-biggest-ever-daytime-fireworks-show/
Black Rainbow Explosions.
Back in 2005 international artist Cai Gou-Qiang, native of China was commissioned by Valencia’s Museum of Modern Art to create a piece for their exhibition.
The ‘black rainbow’ was created by firing 1400 three-inch black smoke shells and the duration was around a minute. They were set up on the Old Turia Riverbed Park between Royal Bridge and Trinidad Bridge in Valencia, Spain.
Cai Gou-Qiang studied in Japan and started introducing gun-powder as a medium into his art which he has continued to use throughout his career to date. Known already for his conceptual art, last year his exhibition in New York was internationally acclaimed.
I am sure we will be featuring many more of the offerings of this fascinating artist in years to come as he challenges our perception of art as he pushes the boundaries further.