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Faurschou Foundation presents Cai Guo-Qiang. A Clan of Boats

Faurschou Foundation presents Cai Guo-Qiang. A Clan of Boats on view September 6–December 7, 2012 the inaugural solo exhibition by celebrated artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The exhibition includes a series of newly commissioned gunpowder drawings inspired by Denmark’s nature, culture, and history. It will also highlight Reflection–A Gift from Iwaki, one of Cai’s major works in Faurschou Foundation’s collection. On the opening day, the artist will realize an outdoor explosion event.

Cai Guo-Qiang Detail of Reflection – A Gift from Iwaki, Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain, Nice, France, 2010. Photo: Wen-You Cai. Courtesy Cai Studio.

The exhibition will mark Cai’s first one-man show in Scandinavia since 1997, when Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, presented Cai Guo-Qiang: Flying Dragon in the Heavens.

A Clan of Boats
For the exhibition Cai draws inspiration from Faurschou Foundation’s location by the harbor, the Danish landscape, and the country’s historical and cultural connection to the sea. It re-visits several prominent themes in his oeuvre, such as the ocean, boats and voyages, and cross-cultural encounters. The seas surrounding Denmark connect the entire Scandinavia, whose seafaring history goes back to the Vikings. Along with these seamen and ship makers, Nordic nature and the icy landscape also play a large influence on the exhibition.

Gunpowder drawings
Cai and his studio team will work closely with local volunteers in Copenhagen to create the gunpowder drawings. Open to public from August 25 to September 2, the event allows audience members to see how the artist works with such an extraordinary medium. If you would like to observe or participate in the process, please contact [email protected] to become a volunteer or to register as a viewer.

Outdoor explosion event
During the opening on 6th September Cai will attempt his first three-dimensional gunpowder drawing. A small, traditional Danish boat, with a layer of paper mounted on the exterior and three thousand mini rockets piercing through the hull, will be suspended over the plaza outside the foundation. Once ignited, the mini rockets will set off, appearing as if the boat is fanning its wings. As a new work, the boat will then become part of the exhibition after the opening.

Reflection – A gift from Iwaki
The installation consists of a wreck that Cai excavated from the coastal town of Iwaki in Japan in 2004. Cai then transformed the ship into an artwork, filling it with broken blanc de chine porcelain from Dehua, a region near his hometown Quanzhou. Reflection has been shown at several important Cai Guo-Qiang exhibitions around the world, with the team of Iwaki volunteers joining Cai to re-install the iconic work each time.

A full-color catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by art critic Karen Smith, an interview from curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, and a recount of the artist’s fascination with boats since his youth, along with descriptions of all boat-related works throughout his artistic journey by Cai himself.

Cai Guo-Qiang
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, China. Cai’s work crosses multiple mediums within art, including drawing, installation, video, and performance. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that eventually led to his experimentation with explosives on a massive scale and to the development of his signature explosion events. Cai was awarded the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, the 7th Hiroshima Art Prize in 2007, and the 20th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2009. He also served as Director of Visual and Special Effects for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He currently lives and works in New York.

Faurschou Foundation
Faurschou Foundation is a privately funded art foundation in Copenhagen and Beijing established by Luise and Jens Faurschou. For 25 years they have mounted exhibitions of works by internationally recog­nized artists both from Denmark and abroad. Over the years, Luise and Jens Faurschou have assembled a notable international collection, and are planning future exhibitions with some of the world’s foremost contemporary artists, curators, museums and galleries. Both exhibition spaces are free and open to public.

Faurschou Foundation
Klubiensvej 11
2100 Copenhagen

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