Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

This took some time to get online, but it was well worth the wait. Cai Guo Qiang has an explosive process, and one that I'm glad I didn't miss!

Cai Guo Qiang Crosses Cultural Boundaries By Blowing Them Up, Literally
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Suzanne LaBarre
Published: 07 Sept 2012, Fast Co.Design

In a downtown L.A. warehouse recently, the New York-based Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang paced atop a gigantic scroll of hemp paper, unfurled and placed on the floor. The paper was overlaid with cardboard stencils, and over them, he sprinkled gunpowder like a chef fretting over his latest dish. “Audience, are we ready?” Kelly Ma, Cai’s staff assistant, said. A crowd of nearly 300 huddled closer. The faint stench of sulfur hung in the air.

Tall and slim and solemn, Cai, 54, approached the fuse that snaked along his latest work of art and lit it with a stick of burning incense. Ssss…..BAMBAMBAM! The gunpowder exploded in flashes of bright, orange light, then dispersed into wispy puffs of smoke, as a small army of volunteers dressed in gloves, goggles, and booties rushed in to put out stray flares. Thus was born Childhood Spaceship, one of three new gunpowder drawings Cai created for a recently concluded one-man show at the Geffen Contemporary of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. [read more]


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