The Odyssey explodes: Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder drawing ignites

Posted on October 7, 2010

Last night I had the honor to assist Cai at the ignition ceremony, putting down cardboard, handing him bricks and putting out small embers.

Each of us who had helped Cai felt some ownership of the success or failure and therefore some anxiousness and anticipation as the fuse was lit. After so much preparation the actual creation of the drawing was fast and loud. Then it was followed by an agonizingly slow reveal of the drawing from under layers of cardboard and glassine.

I was amazed by the delicacy in some areas and the strong, dark lines in others. The drawing has changed so much from his pencil sketch and not simply in scale. In the video above he mentions that perhaps the volunteers will be able to point out to their families and friends the areas that they worked on. Well, I can say with pride, here is the lotus flower that I worked on, and didn’t Cai do a fantastic job of bringing out its delicacy?
The lotus flower in Odyssey

A lotus flower from Odyssey

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