Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cai Guo Qiang

During Open Studios at Deptford X I had a visit from Amanda Francis (one of the DX committee) who told me of her trip to the Guggenheim in Bilbao earlier in the year where she had seen the work of an artist whose name she couldn't remember. She described it as a giant shipwreck spilling lots of broken china...

So I looked it up. Another fantastic Chinese artist, Cai Guo Qiang. I found a review here. The reviewer (Beth S. Gersh-Nesic) says of the piece: "Reflection-A Gift from Iwaki (2004), is the most sublime work of twenty-first century art, to date. An enormous excavated wooden boat, found in Iwaki, Japan, the hull is filled with and spills out buckets and buckets of mostly white (some light blue) Chinese porcelain figurines, dishes and other common vessels. Its gargantuan scale feels vaguely mythic, as if it came from the bowels of Davy Jones' locker or a Spielbergian movie set. Surely, the most indelible image of the entire show."

Cai Guo Qiang is best known for his pyrotechnics however, and was the Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games, which of course were so impressive that British viewers twittered that it was all done with CGI.

Cai Guo Qiang's own site: www.caiguoqiang.com

See a video (and others) made of the Guggenheim show here.

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