Archive for category making artwork

Open Call for Volunteer Models

Photo by Francesco Allegretto. Courtesy Glasstress / Berengo Studio, Venice, Italy.

Photo by Francesco Allegretto. Courtesy Glasstress / Berengo Studio, Venice, Italy.


Would you like to be part of Cai’s upcoming installation?

Cai is presenting a new conceptual work that will be part of the Venice Biennale’s collateral event, Glasstress 2013, collaborating with Murano glass artisans.

For the work, Full-Body Scan, Cai Studio is calling volunteers in New York City to pose for several clothed, full-body portraits, both front and back. There is no dress code. We want you to be yourself!

The photo shoot will run from now until Friday, 10 May. We are willing to work around your schedule. Please email with “Venice Project” in the subject line, your availability, and basic info (name, age, gender, ethnicity, etc.) in the body.


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Hey there – the team’s in Copenhagen!

Cai and studio staff are currently in Copenhagen, Denmark in preparation for his next solo exhibition,  A Clan of Boats.  The show, which celebrates Copenhagen’s long tradition in shipmaking and their maritime history, will include numerous gunpowder drawings.  A sneak peak at the process so far.

Photo by Shu-Wen Lin, courtesy Cai Studio

Photo by Tine Harden

Photo by Tine Harden

Photo by Tine Harden

Photo by Shu-Wen Lin, courtesy Cai Studio

Photo by Tine Harden

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Footprints of History: Fireworks Projects for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Fireworks for 2008 Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony

The following excerpt is taken from: Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum. Taipei: Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2009, pg 109


Bigfoot’s Footprints: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 6

Bigfoot's Footprints: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 6

Cosmos/Universe: 20 Billion Years
Gunpowder: 200 kg
Primer Cord Fuse” 2,200 Meters
Total Length of Project: 2,000 Meters
Number of “Footprints:” 200
Size of Footprints: 2 Meters
Elapsed Time of Explosion: 20 Seconds
Site: The border between two nations

Method: A mold in the shape of Bigfoot’s footprint will be made. Paper footprints will be made by pouring paper pulp into a footprint-shaped mold. Some fireproof material will be put on the bottom of each footprint to prevent overburning. After the exhibition, all the footprints will be collected. Obtaining concurrent visas for the two countries where the project will be carried out will be one of the elements of the piece.

When humankind finally invents the hyper-speed vehicle, it will be able to catch up with the past and understand it. This leap will be more significant than going to the moon by spacecraft and bringing back some stones.

More important than the exploration of unknown space with physical inventions is the fact that humans are originally a part of universe – the human spirit was born at the time of the creation of the universe, and actually contains vivid memories of the event. Human consciousness can recall memories of the past, and therefore, at a deep level, it has insight into future human direction, potential and danger. The past, including memories of the origin of the universe, and the future can’t be received through physical entities or existing time and space. Only super-humanity is capable of traveling beyond light-speed without being limited by time and space.

With a series of gunpowder explorations covering 2,000 meters in 20 seconds, the footfalls of Bigfoot will stomp into the beyond. It will be a moment of a hyper-creature passing through our planet. Is it the Extraterrestrial or ourselves? The moment when the spirit is present, it will leave physical footprints on the border and will vanish beyond time and space.

When did humans start practicing the unfortunate custom of recognizing national borders? Along these lines, artificial creations that never originally existed, humans have most frequently used the gunpowder which is one result of civilization – and will continue to do so in the future. Every time gunpowder explodes on a border, war occurs and the nightmare is replayed.

The extraterrestrials ignore borders, and the will of super-humanity that lives within us sometimes exercises its fundamental power and also ignores boundaries. Everywhere on earth, there is a horizon that is common to all of humanity, but beyond this horizon, however, there is a place to which we must head through the collaboration of all humankind. It is where we swiftly came from and where we will return… the horizon of the universe.

Cai Guo-Qiang, 1990


These project notes and folding screens were created in 1990 and exhibited for the first time in early 1991 at the solo exhibition Primeval Fireball: The Project for Projects at P3 Art and Environment in Tokyo. Since then, it has been exhibited at seven other museums or galleries around the world.

Bigfoot’s Footprints began as a project to be carried out along the border between France and Germany, to be staged later, in 1994 along the Normandy coast as part of ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Allied landings. In 2004, the work was shown in Washington D.C. as part of the Traveler solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Finally, in 2008, 29 giant footprints appeared in the sky along the central axis of Beijing when the project was realized as part of the Opening Ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympics.



For Chinese: 大腳印的歷史

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Day and Night: A Public Gunpowder Drawing Event

In anticipation of the upcoming solo exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang will create two new gunpowder drawings: Day and Night and Taroko Gorge. The event is open to the public and will be held on October 17 & 18 at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information and to see a live broadcast of the event, please look at the exhibition site (in Chinese). The live video broadcast will start streaming on October 16th at 9 PM EST.

Image courtesy Eslite


dayandnight_4-blogCai Guo-Qiang making a gunpowder drawings for Wind Shadaow, October 1, 2006.
Photos by Liu Chen-hsiang, courtesy ON OFFICE.

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Fire Medicine

Screenshot of VBS's video feature called <i>Cai Guo-Qiang & The Art of Fire Medicine</i>

Screenshot of VBS.TV's video feature called Cai Guo-Qiang & The Art of Fire Medicine

Check out the video feature on VBS.TV’s website.

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Philosophy for Life: Intern Report by Jing Liu

Photo by Phoebe Ford

Photo by Phoebe Ford

It has been six months since I started interning at Cai Studio. My concentration in college is neither art nor design; instead, I study economics. Due to my curiosity and luck, I was accepted as an intern at the Studio, and it has turned out to be a precious opportunity, allowing me to reconsider my career path and life attitude.

In the past six months I have had a totally new work experience. My projects at the studio include finishing contour drawings for Cai’s gunpowder art works, cutting contour images, assisting Cai to complete gunpowder drawings in the Grucci basement, joyfully chatting with other assistants in Long Island, keeping library books in order, compiling a recent history document, scanning numerous images, carrying Cai’s art works on wooden panels, and translating many reports related to Cai. Most of the work is detail-oriented. My previous internships in the banking industry were associated with numbers and deadline pressure. Contrary to banking, art has taught me to observe every detail and moment in life; it has relaxed my mind and heart. All of a sudden, I have started to observe life, taking time to view sprouting spring grass and ground fallen into the shade of summer trees. I have given up my old habit of rushing through the street without even lifting my eyes to see the direction. What I have learned from Cai Studio is the philosophy for life and the ability to feel happiness. – Jing Liu



Jing Liu joined the studio as an intern in February.  Her first task was to cut a huge pile of paperboard stencils before we headed off to Long Island to make a 16-panel gunpowder drawing that will be shown at the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial next month.  This fall, Jing will be a senior at Columbia University.

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Hard at work


Photos by Hong Hong Wu

Photos by Hong Hong Wu

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