New Forum features works by Cai Guo-Qiang
Inopportune: Stage One, 2004, and Illusion, 2004, two major works by Cai Guo-Qiang, will be unveiled in SAM’s monumental Forum space when the downtown museum opens May 5-6, 2007. One of the most important and acclaimed artists to have emerged internationally from China, Cai Guo-Qiang was born in Quanzhou in 1957 and later lived in Tokyo, before moving to New York in 1995. The artist initially attracted attention for large-scale gunpowder projects, realized at outdoor sites and urban settings worldwide, and for drawings and sculptures inspired by the ancient myths and aesthetic traditions of China, as well as Western technology, science and art.
Inopportune: Stage One consists of nine identical white cars outfitted with pulsing colored lights. Suspended from the ceiling of the museum, the cars are composed to create a rising and falling that suggests a repeating cinematic loop, arrested in time and space. The cars will take off from the ground of the Brotman Forum in SAM’s newly constructed North Building, and will land in the South Hall, the museum’s former main entrance, in a colorful sequence.
The ninety-second video, Illusion, features a car blowing up while driving through Times Square in New York City, leaving people and buildings unmoved and unharmed because the explosion is a confection—more Hollywood than reality. Complementary works, Inopportune: Stage One and Illusion explore how images and truth are experienced and understood in our unsettled world.
The addition of this significant installation by Cai Guo-Qiang to SAM’s collection continues the museum’s commitment to representing global contemporary art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Cai’s exhibitions have been presented in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Paris, France; Guangzhou, China; Vienna, Austria; Otterloo, the Netherlands; Ghent, Belgium; London, England; and Venice, Italy, among other cities. During the summer of 2006, Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Moment was presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is currently organizing a retrospective exhibition of Cai’s work that will travel to Beijing, China, and Bilbao, Spain.