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By Melissa Werry
December 19, 2011
By Melissa Werry
December 19, 2011

Forget subway tunnels and highway billboards. The latest canvas for the modern artist is that big blue expanse above us. Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang has made like God and conjured his very own rainbow out of colourful smoke bombs in a daytime fireworks display. The stunt required 8000 shells and 2 months of planning, only to be detonated within minutes.

With an impressive resume including the fireworks show that opened the Beijing Olympics, Cai's "daytime fireworks" marked the opening of his exhibition at the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar. Spattering the sky with clouds of dreamy pastels as well as inky flock-like forms, the unsuspecting passer-by would be forgiven for running for cover with arms flailing beneath an apparent actualization of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

It's easy to see why Cai had lovers of design raving about his ingenuity. And the show's set-up created a spectacle in its own right, providing viewers with a greater appreciation of the intricate timing and elaborate engineering required to paint the sky. Still, the magic of night time fireworks that seemingly materialise out of thin air is lost in the harsh sunlight that exposes the mechanics behind the colourful explosions. So here's hoping this wizard of pyrotechnics doesn't give up his night job.

Published on December 19, 2011 by Melissa Werry


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