Category Archives: Firework Art

More From Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese contemporary artist featured in a number of past blogs. From a very early age, Cai was fascinated with fireworks and explosions and they are intrinsic to the majority of his art work.

Brought up in China, where fireworks are part of daily life and most certainly feature in almost all religious and secular holidays, it was no surprise that his preferred medium is black powder and its explosive power, bringing his art to the masses.

Cai uses all aspects of his traditional Chinese culture including their medicine, flowers and animals and brings this ethos to his work using some more traditional mediums to create art which shows his life and more importantly, stresses the path that we are taking as a race which is damaging the earth to such a degree that the so-called ‘natural disasters’ are in fact a result of our own actions.

In his early career, he studied the finer aspects of stage/set design, broadening his perspective. Over the years he has continued to push the boundaries of modern art.

In 1990, he started ‘Projects for Extra Terrestrials’ where he built a shanty, like the one in Tiananmen Square, loaded it with gunpowder and lit the fuse. The resultant explosion, using large fireworks, created amazing trails across the skies. It lasted around 9 seconds and was reportedly visible from space.

One of his other ‘claims to fame’ was being commissioned by the Chinese Government to create the opening and closing displays for the Beijing Olympics. I am sure that even now, 7 years on, there is still chatter in the firework fraternity about the ‘footprints’ debacle but you have to tip your hat to him, they were absolutely spectacular.

A recent creation formed part of his one man exhibition: The Ninth Wave, which represents mans responsibility for causing the current environmental and ecological issues like the 16,000 dead pigs found last year floating in the Huangpu River or the thick smog which constantly hangs over most of the major cities in China. Keeping his fondness for daytime fireworks; including all black, white and pastel coloured fireworks, his latest work ‘Chapter One of Elegy Firework’ (elegy – sad or mournful song or poem – like a lament) features a huge jetty full of fireworks – an impressive sight, whether you ‘get it’ or not!

Given his undisputed love affair with black powder, we are sure his imagination knows no bounds and look forward to seeing his future work.

Check out the video:


David Sena. The Firework Artist.

New York based artist extraordinaire David Sena, is not the first and certainly will not be the last to use fireworks in his art creations, but he is using them in a very different way. David states that he likes the kinetic energy behind the short burst of flame and explosive power in his firework drawings.

He graduated from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and has continued in his unusual approach. As a very talented artist, tattooist and fine art specialist, his work is really good and cleverly uses a number of mediums to get his art across to the masses.

In his fire drawing he uses mainly jumping jacks (no longer available in the UK and today remembered only by those of us ‘of a certain age!’) and then once he has the burn he wants, he uses a rubber (eraser) and charcoal to create the finished product. Reaching for ever better impressions, he continues to play with multi dimensional 3D works.

When asked ‘why fireworks?’ he referred back to when he was a child and they fired any firecrackers or jumping jacks they invariably left scorch marks on the surface, whether it was wood, paper, concrete or dirt which in later life became the art form.

Check out the video which shows some of the artwork he has made.


The Kelpies Grand Opening Fireworks Display Video

Now this is pretty cool.

The Kelpies are 30 metre high horse-head sculptures, weighing in around the 300 tonne mark and are considered the world’s largest equine sculptures.

Construction of The Kelpies began on Monday 17th June 2013 and on Friday 18th April The Kelpies was officially launched 🙂

An awesome firework display, animated projections and an amazing light show, all designed and fired by the world-renowned French pyrotechnics display company – Groupe F.

View the video below and make sure you hit the HD button.