Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 13 April 2014





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Falling back to earth:

A unique exhibition

The exhibition "Falling back to Earth" of World famous Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang opened on November 23, 2013 and will conclude on May 11 at the Gallery of Modern Art in the city of Brisbane.

Painter Cai Guo

A view of Heritage

It is unique exhibition which has only four major installations. The gallery underwent major changes to accommodate the exhibition over a long period. Several tons of concrete had to be removed digging the floor to build a large pond inside the gallery. The exhibition includes four major installations in four sections of the gallery. They are titled "Heritage Eucalyptus, Head On and, Tea Pavilion."

Cai Guo, 56 was born in China on December 8, 1957. Over the past 25 years he has created a unique body of work characterised by the grandness of its scale and ambition. Cai's installations, social projects, gun powder drawings and explosion events have been presented in prestigious museums and public space throughout the world."

His recent solo exhibitions of this nature had been held in Brasilia, Sao Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil in 2013 Copenhagen in 2012 Arab Museum of Modern Arts, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Cai served as Director of visual and special effects at the summer Olympics Beijing and has won several prestigious awards.

In 2012 he was awarded Praemium Imperiale for painting by Japan and also the Medal of arts award by the US State Department. He was honoured in his own country with the Golden Lion award. He was inspired by the Chinese leader Mao Zedong and his cultural revolution to engage in his creative work. One key speciality of Cai is his use of gun powder for his artistic work. Once Cai created 1,0000 metre long work creating the "Great Wall of China" and when it was fired it lit for 15 minutes duration.

Replicas of animals

Heritage 2013 is held in a vast space and a stunning silence prevails though there were several people viewing the exhibition. Walls were all empty and in this art gallery is a huge pond. It has 99 replicas of animals of the world, gathered together to drink from a single waterhole. The animals look so real and how they have been created is exciting.

Cai explains why he has 99 animals. One is his respect for Chinese numerology in which the nine represents "Long lasting". Then the other point is that 99 suggests for the artist something that is not quite complete.

'Head on'

This is a similar large space where walls are all empty and here again there are 99 replicas of Wolfs. Cai says it was the Berlin's turbulent history, the Berlin wall that divided the country inspired him to create 'Head on'. The activity of the wolfs according to Cia also depicts "Gaining power and momentum through unity."

The 99 wolfs and the other 99 animals look so real anyone could carry the impression that they are stuffed animals. "There isn't any real animal material like skin, hair or nails or bone.... this is all artificial", Cai said.

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