With November being the month for looking at the skies, gunpowder and Lewes being my home town I thought I’d use the occasion to look at the exceptional work of artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who creates unforgettable art experiences, with the unusual medium of gunpowder.
Starting with gunpowder exploding canvases he moved to site specific explosions:
‘I want to reflect on the experiences of the human race from a larger perspective of the universe and to remind us that we are not alone in the universe and that there are other eyes looking at us from this infinite universe.’
He has perfected his gunpowder art, no one does it like him and through his art he expresses all our shared childhood dreams with a true expression of human emotion.
“More than a thousand years ago, when the Chinese discovered gunpowder, they were actually looking for an elixir to make them immortal.” But Cai, despite the spectacle that his gunpowder paintings and explosion events have been known to whip up, isn’t out for immortality. “I don’t think any art is meant to be kept forever, immortal on the earth that we inhabit. What I attempt to achieve is a sense of the eternal from the ephemeral—to inspire a conversation with the greater universe.” Artsy Oct 10th 2016
Talking about his installation Heritage 2013 from Falling Back to Earth:
‘The work took a long time to conceive and produce, says Cai. “It’s like being pregnant – once you give birth, your child has a life of their own and they are no longer a part of your body. They have their own destiny.” And what does he think of his baby? “It looks better and exceeds my expectations. When I first conceived this work I thought it would be related to environmental issues that we have here on Earth. But once the work was finished I realised that it relates to broader issues, such as our position within the universe.”
Cai Guo-Qiang work that you might like to look at:
Poppy Series Hallucination No. 1
Art work that exists for mere moments
Conceived for the Deutsche Bank Collection, the work was inspired by Berlin and its history, its message is generally valid. “I wanted to portray the universal human tragedy,“ says Cai, “resulting from this blind urge to press forward, the way we try to attain our goals without compromise,”
Cai Guo-Qiangmakes a 500m ladder of fire to connect the Earth to the universe.
Read more about Cai work on his blog:
Talking about not being alone in the universe The Guardian Science states that there are 20 times more galaxies in the universe than previously thought bringing it up to a mind blowing 2 trillion, of which 90 % of the galaxies have yet to be studied with the analysis reaching back more than 13bn years, about the time of the Big Bang which is thought to have given birth to the universe. Food for thought when watching Cai’s work, shinning a vibrational message for human kind into outerspace, now that’s what I call Space Art !!
The surprising find is based on 3D modeling of images collected by the Hubble Space Telescope. Photograph: Nasa/PA