pyrotechnics

Cai Guo-Qiang's explosive new exhibit

Cai Guo-Qiang's explosive new exhibit

It would be fair to say that Cai Guo-Qiang is “blowing up” on the art scene. Since the mid-80s, Guo-Qiiang – who grew up within spitting distance of a Chinese military base – has been making unusual paintings with gunpowder and other explosive materials. His charred, smoke-covered canvasses, some of which look like they might have been recovered from actual disaster scenes, capture the duality between destruction and creation by shockingly literal means. You’ve likely already seen one of his most memorable installations without even knowing it: in 2008, Guo-Qiang designed the opening fireworks and explosives for the Beijing Summer Olympics as its Director of Visual Effects. Clearly, this is evidence that I should have cultivated my early pyrophile tendencies as a child, because I’d definitely be famous by now…