Cai Guo Qiang «No Destruction: Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art» 1998.


Cai Guo Qiang, Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art, 1998
No Destruction, No Construction: Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan 1998.


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No Destruction: Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art, 1998.

«In the later 1990s, invitations from museums, as well as municipalities, to produce context-specific works increased, and Cai began to move, to a certain extent, his focus away from the natural landscape, and towards the cultural landscape of urban and institutional zones. In 1998, he produced No Destruction, No Construction: Bombing the Taiwan Museum of Art, a gunpowder event that was staged for the purposes of initiating the renovation of this museum. A spectacular array of gunpowder and fuses was detonated in the sky above the museum, which then traveled sequentially downwards, entering the museum through the building's skylights and windows. From an outside perspective, the building thus appeared to be exploding: a virtual incursion into the site that anticipated, and set into motion, on symbolic terms, the actual remodeling of the museum. In this project, and others that followed, Cai's manipulation of the visual and aural effects of the explosions became increasingly sophisticated on technical and creative terms, and cultural institutions became aware of just how effective such displays could be in expanding the audience for art.»

Cai Guo Qiang, Tate Gallery Explosion, 2003
Explosion Project for Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London, UK, 2003.

«With time you start to get to know the material. You actually develop a way to know how it will behave, to a certain degree. First, you have to accept that it’s uncontrollable and that there is an accidental element. You have to accept it and then work with it. I’ve worked with the material for so long that I’ve gained an understanding of how it works. Sometimes I can control it better than I realize, better than I expect. Then at that point it becomes stagnant. So it’s very important that there is always this uncontrollability that's a part of the work. My way of doing it is just to flow with the material, go with the material and let it take me where it wants me to go. So I continuously want it to give me problems and obstacles to overcome.» ~ Cai Guo Qiang


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sources: caiguoqiang.com home.att.net