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Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Apr 8—Jul 30, 2012

One of the best-known contemporary Chinese artists, Cai Guo-Qiang, is renowned for his signature gunpowder technique, installations, and explosion events. For his first solo exhibition on the West Coast, the artist made three new gunpowder drawings and one installation.

The first drawing, Chaos in Nature, depicts uncontrollable forces of nature such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and tornadoes. The second work, Desire for Zero Gravity, traces mankind’s naïve attempts to defy gravity. The last gunpowder drawing, Childhood Spaceship, presents the memories, fantasies and symbols that inspired the artist since his youth. Crop Circles, a sculptural installation made with reeds, is suspended from the gallery ceiling.

The exhibition opening was announced with an outdoor explosion event called Mystery Circle. Arranged on the north wall of the Geffen Contemporary building, some 40,000 firework rockets were ignited simultaneously sending a wall of fire, heat and sound towards the public, some 100 yards away.

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