Cai Guo Qiang «Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky» 2003.
More than 300 kites, in the shapes of man, eagle and eye, were brought to the remote Siwa Oasis of the Egyptian Sahara desert. 600 school children participated in painted the kites. A group of 40 older boys helped with the flying of the kites. On the last night, the kites were set ablaze by handmade gunpowder fuse as the sun set into the desert.
«Over a period of five days, patrons, artists and international media representatives gathered in the oasis to observe Cai stage a kite-flying activity over town, temple, desert and mountain top. In preparation for the event, the artist had worked with over three hundred and fifty school children to decorate 600 silk kites in the shapes of eyes, eagles and men. Five art teachers were drawn from the community to serve as a link between the school children and hundreds of students from the technical schools, 40 of whom would later fly the heavy 5x5 silk kites over sites of historical and cultural significance in Siwa.
The artist admitted that the children hardly needed his coaching. They had enthusiastically thrown themselves into kite painting, using brushes and their hands to paint their designs in bright primary colors. Adding to this triumph of self-expression, the project offered the opportunity for strong cross-cultural exchanges between Siwans and guests, giving the visitors the opportunity to contribute to and learn from an oasis community with a rich and unique cultural heritage, and Siwans the opportunity to contribute to and learn from the outside world.»