Archive for October, 2013

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: An Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche

Cai Guo-Qiang was commissioned to create One Night Stand (Aventure d’un Soir), a conceptual pyrotechnic “explosion event” for Nuit Blanche, an all-night citywide contemporary art event organized by the City of Paris and was curated by Chiara Parisi and Julie Pellegrin this year. The unprecedented happening took place on the evening of October 5th; through this work, the artist invited Paris to have “une aventure d’un soir” both on the Seine — eternal witness of the romantic history of France — and in front of the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, which house respectively Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and Édouard Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe.

One Night Stand presented an adventure into the night to change people’s perception of the city; the explosion event mixed together imaginations, passions, and ambiance unique to Paris and shared the experience with a large audience. The happening was divided into three scenes: the first scene was a heated pyrotechnic display that lasted twelve minutes. During this enchanting scene, fireworks expressed love and its metaphorical eruptions. In the second scene, a sightseeing boat (bateau-mouche) outfitted with fifty tents brought one hundred lovers from around the world to spend a luminous and romantic evening on the Seine. If they wished to share their blissful experience with other spectators, they would press a button next to them to trigger short sprouts of fireworks, which were fired from small boats nearby. For the third and last scene, close to one minute of elegant blazing silver fireworks acted as a tacit ”goodbye kiss.” For the finale, fireworks that spelled out the words ”Sorry Gotta Go” appeared. That evening, audiences from all over the world were able to observe this “One Night Stand” between Paris—the city of love—and the rest of the world.

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Hiro Ihara, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Hiro Ihara, courtesy Cai Studio

Lovers’ Time in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Hiro Ihara, courtesy Cai Studio

Lovers’ Time in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Hiro Ihara, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

A French Love Encounter in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Thierry Nava, courtesy Cai Studio

Bidding Farewell in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013 Photo by Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio

Bidding Farewell in Cai Guo-Qiang’s One Night Stand: Explosion Event for Nuit Blanche, realized on October 5 on the Seine River, Paris, France, 2013
Photo by Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio

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Homeland

Christie’s held it’s first auction in Mainland China on September 26 in Shanghai. For the occasion, Cai created the gunpowder drawing, Homeland, depicting Cai’s birthplace and hometown—the ancient city of Quanzhou. The drawing was ignited on-site on September 25, and it depicts ancient temples, banyan trees, distant mountains, and other historical buildings juxtaposed with Frank Gehry’s phantom-like museum.

The piece was sold for 15 million RMB and held the honor of being the most expensive drawing sold at the event. The proceeds of the sale will be used to benefit the Foundation for the Quanzhou Museum of Contemporary Art, a museum that Frank Gehry is designing for Cai’s hometown in Quanzhou, Fujian province in southeast China.

Below are some photos from the event for your enjoyment. Be certain to visit the Christie’s website to see the entire creation process!

Ignition of gunpowder drawing Homeland for Christie's first auction in Mainland China, Shanghai, 2013 Photo by Justin Jin, courtesy Cai Studio

Ignition of gunpowder drawing Homeland for Christie’s first auction in Mainland China, Shanghai, 2013
Photo by Justin Jin, courtesy Cai Studio

Homeland, gunpowder on paper, mounted on wood as 8-panel screen, 2013 Photo by Justin Jin, courtesy Cai Studio

Homeland, gunpowder on paper, mounted on wood as 8-panel screen, 2013
Photo by Justin Jin, courtesy Cai Studio

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