Cai Guo Qiang «Skybound UFO and Shrine» 2002.
Cai Guo Qiang's UFO-shaped balloon didn't, unfortunately, fly on the opening day. But that was not the end of the story. On August 11, Cai Guo Qiang came back to Japan and executed a large-scale gunpowder performance, placing a 4500 m fire fuse around the inside and outside of a 30 m diameter dome-shaped UFO.
The Great Success of Cai Guo Qiang's Gunpowder Event Sky Bound UFO and Shrine!!
The weather was risky since it had rained every day before the day of the event. That day was cloudy but the rain had stopped. Many gunpowder craftsmen and volunteers gathered around the balloon. More and more journalists from Tokyo and people who had heard of the event gathered around. Mysteriously, the sky in the west began showing a burning sunset and shining white clouds. In a very dramatic atmosphere, people waited with a sense of anticipation.
At 6:40 pm, after we turned off the lights, the explosive sound started and the fire went off. On the surface of the UFO, the fire raced around at top speed, igniting the fuse inside.
An orange flush went around inside the balloon. This gunpowder performance ended so quickly. It took only thirty seconds. The audience, who had witnessed the strength and flexibility of the fire running like a dragon, became very excited to be at this spectacle. In fact, Cai Guo Qiang himself said that it was one of his most successful gunpowder events. He smiled and said, «this feels right.»
Reported by Chiaki Sakaguchi