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EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY :: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY :: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG

By Bobby Hundreds

If you can remember way back to the ’08 Olympics in China, you may recall the sensational fireworks show that accompanied the opening and closing ceremonies. The pyrotechnics were courtesy of renowned Chinese artist Cai Guo-Quiang, the 57-year-old visionary whose signature explosives technique has captured the imagination of the world. You may have also seen his lunging taxidermy wolves, entitled “Head On,” cascading down your Tumblr feeds. Or his detonating gunpowder murals making headline news.

Chinese artists like Cai and Ai Wei Wei are at the forefront of global art right now, as generations of untapped creative spirit find the worldwide stage. The Power Station of Art in Shanghai is currently hosting “The 9th Wave,” Cai Guo-Qiang’s solo exhibition, most of which was done on premises. It is one of the most important and compelling shows on the planet, so as we found ourselves in China this week, we made it a point to witness something incredible.

This boat is less an ark, and more a statement. The fishing boat departed from the artist’s hometown of Quanzhou, carrying 99 “animals,” and actually sailed to its resting home here.

The majority of the exhibition is dedicated to the artist’s murals, which he paints by igniting strings of gunpowder.

In this room, jet black ink deploys from the ceiling and collects in the pool below.

This is it. Re-post away! “Head On”:

And the Best Selfie Ever award goes to….

…but certainly his fireworks spectaculars are the most impressive…

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