installation of tiger replicas with arrows

Inopportune: Stage Two

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2004, nine life-sized tiger replicas, arrows, and mountain stage prop. Tigers: papier-mâché, plaster, fiberglass, resin, and painted hide; arrows: brass, threaded bamboo shaft, and feathers; and stage prop: Styrofoam, wood, canvas, and acrylic paint, dimensions variable, © 2004, courtesy of National Gallery of Canada and the artist. Installation view at Shawinigan Space, National Gallery of Canada, Québec, 2006.

Cai Guo-Qiang

In his ephemeral performances, gunpowder drawings, and arresting installations, Cai Guo-Qiang explores humanity’s place in the universe and our responsibilities on Earth. He draws us into his work with the visual language of explosion and the aesthetic of pain. He captures the residue of human aggression, the visceral traces of violence against nature and our collective future. He presents these traumatic visions on a continuous loop, inviting us to search for a way to break the cycle of human history. As we struggle with the burdens of these revelations, we find hope in human ingenuity and our shared heritage of great leaps forward. We see the vast power of our species, both in its ability to destroy the environment through exploitation and its potential to elevate life on Earth with creativity and invention.

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inkblot in the form of insect with wolf profiles in negative space
image of mountain with reflection in lake
fist that grows into a tree
tiger replica with arrows

Inopportune: Stage Two

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2004, nine life-sized tiger replicas, arrows, and mountain stage prop. Tigers: papier-mâché, plaster,fiberglass, resin, and painted hide; arrows: brass, threaded bamboo shaft, and feathers; and stage prop: Styrofoam, wood, canvas, and acrylic paint, dimensions variable, © 2004, courtesy of MASS MoCA and the artist. Installation view at MASS MoCA, North Adams. Photo by Kevin Kennefick.

Head On

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall. Wolves: gauze, resin, and hide, dimensions variable, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, © 2006, courtesy of Deutsche Bank Collection and the artist. Commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG. Installation view at Deustsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 2006. Photo by Hiro Ihara.

wildlife replicas drinking from blue water pool

Heritage

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2013, 99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism, dimensions variable, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, © 2013, courtesy of Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation and the artist. Commissioned with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Installation view at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2013. Photo: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA. Courtesy: Queensland Art Gallery ׀ Gallery of Modern Art

fishing boat with wildlife replicas floating toward city

The Ninth Wave

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2014, Installation incorporating 99 life-sized replicas of animals, wooden fishing boat, one white flag, electric fan, 1700 x 455 x 580 cm, © 2014, Commissioned by the Power Station of Art, Shanghai. Detail, The Ninth Wave sailing on the Huangpu River by the Bund, Shanghai, 2014. Photo by Wen-You Cai, courtesy Cai Studio

onlookers observing small black cloud in blue sky

Clear Sky Black Cloud

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2006, black smoke shells © 2006, Realized at The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Daily at noon, Tuesday through Sunday from April 25–October 29, approximately 5 to 13 seconds. Commissioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art [Ephemeral]. Photo: Hiro Ihara, courtesy of Cai Studio

crocodile elevated on bamboo spears with sharp tools stuck in its skin

Move Along, Nothing to See Here

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2006, painted resin with sharp objects confiscated at airport security checkpoints, installation dimensions variable, crocodiles: 241.3 x 132.1 x 406.4 cm and 228.6 x 116.8 x 426.7 cm, © 2006, courtesy of the artist. Detail, installation view at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006. Photo: Teresa Christiansen, courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

gunpowder drawing of crocodile biting sun

Crocodile and Sun

Cai Guo-Qiang, 2007, gunpowder on paper, mounted on wood as six-panel screen, 233 x 463.8 cm, © 2007, courtesy of the artist. Photo: Hiro Ihara

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