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Cai Guo-Qiang and the Fine Art of Blowing Shit Up

In Chinese, gunpowder translates to "fire medicine."
February 1, 2014, 10:14pm

The Chinese New Year is upon us, which means two weeks of fireworks: fireworks to terrify our pets; fireworks to illuminate and exacerbate chronic air pollution; fireworks to create fine art. That last bit would be the project of Cai Guo-Qiang, whose chosen medium is gunpowder, creating massive and beautiful collages of fire and explosions, including a piece at the Bejing Olympics entitled "Footprints of History." A ways back, Motherboard's cameras visited the master at work on Long Island, where he explained something much more subtle and poetic than anyone might expect.