Cai Guo Qiang «The Century with Mushroom Clouds» 1996.
As the final form of gunpowder as a weapon is the atomic bomb, it is only natural that Cai's interest has been developing further towards the atomic bomb in recent years. As a figurative artist, Cai has no doubt had great interest in the form of the smoke which derives as a trace of an explosion. According to Cai, the mushroom cloud caused by the atomic bomb was «a visual mark of the 20th centur, in a shape of heroic beauty which overwhelms art.» Planetscape - A 20th Century of Mushrooms, the 26th part of Project for Extraterrestrials, is supposed to create a mushroom cloud from gunpowder in a nuclear nation and was conceived in a memo dated April 1995.
«There is a photograph of Cai emerging from amidst the powder smoke, which captures a totally new image of a priest/artist unattached to any particular race, religion, or nation.»
The Century with Mushroom Clouds - Projects for the 20th Century
Various sites in the US 1996.