On July 17, The Ninth Wave, a fishing boat from the artist’s hometown of Quanzhou carrying 99 fabricated animals, navigated along the Bund on the Huangpu River, ultimately landing at PSA’s Great Hall. On the boat, tigers, pandas, camels and other animals appear weather-beaten with their heads bowed, as though seasick from the currents of our times.
The work was inspired by Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky’s 1850 eponymous painting, which famously depicted survivors from a shipwreck clinging to a mast as in the last throes of survival, expressing human’s helplessness in the face of nature’s unforgiving forces.
Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave at the Power Station of Art opens August 8 in Shanghai with daytime ‘explosion event’ Elegy to shed light on China’s environmental issues.
Video produced by 33StudiosNY.