|Fireworks sculpture, opening ceremony, 2008 Beijing Olympics,|
www.caiquochang, and below photo by Jason Lee, Reuters.
I never did know much about the artist, but I was one of more than 34 million people worldwide who watched the spectacular fireworks creations in awe, the most artistic I’ve ever seen, before or since. Not just "bombs bursting in air," but beautiful creations in the sky. Cai creates “ethereal art traced in flames and gunpowder,” explosive art, writes Rosenbaum. He “wants to paint the heavens like Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling..."
Cai says simply, "I want to open a dialogue with the universe.” He certainly is doing that, on super-large canvases and through super-large installations, "sculptures," in nature. He has a fascinating personal history, including memories of his father, a calligrapher and rare book-collector, during the “cultural revolution,” when Mao Zedong exiled and killed thousands of intellectuals and “cultural elites.” Cai's father secretly burned his precious collections in fear of capture. Sad. Thousands upon thousands of professors, writers, and artists were lost, or toiled in fields and factories into oblivion. These memories burned deep into Cai's psyche, from which he derives his artistic inspiration. It's an inspiration embellished with a mixture of Taoist and Buddhist beliefs about our eternal connections to the invisible universe, a fascination with modern technology, pyrotechnics, and physics, fear and awe of nuclear power (he worked in Japan after the tsunami), and a sense that aliens or souls from other planets and places want to communicate with us. Such an unusual artistic vision and such unique ways of expressing it!
|www.amazon. com. I think my family|
had this in its library. These kinds of nature
books inspired my brother Loren. .
Murray, it turns out, published, in 1869, "one of the first guidebooks to a wilderness area in America." The country had emerged from the horrors of Civil War and industrial capitalism was taking off. It’s hard to believe that his eulogies to hiking, hunting, fishing and camping in the Adirondacks were initially condemned as threats to civilized life! But public opinion came around soon enough. By 1875 the
I closed the magazine as the expert hygienist Helen went to work, but I focused on visions of the