cai guo qiang sends 99 animals aboard the ninth wave in shanghai cai guo qiang sends 99 animals aboard the ninth wave in shanghai
jul 21, 2014

cai guo qiang sends 99 animals aboard the ninth wave in shanghai

cai guo-­qiang sends 99 animals aboard the ninth wave in shanghai
(above) ‘the ninth wave’ sailing on the huangpu river in front of the bund, shanghai, 2014
photo by JJY photo, courtesy cai studio

 

 

 

cai guo-­qiang: the ninth wave
the power station of art, shanghai
august 8th to october 26th, 2014

 

 

as part of a monumental exhibition presented by the the power station of art in shanghai, chinese artist cai guo-­qiang has set sail to ‘the ninth wave’, a fishing boat from the artist’s hometown of quanzhou carrying 99 fabricated animals. sailing along the famous bund on the huangpu river, tigers, pandas, camels and apes cling to the worn ship, looking weather­‐beaten and sullen with their heads bowed in fatigue. the installation draws visual influence and takes its name from russian painter ivan aivazovsky’s 1850 painting, which depicts weary survivors from a shipwreck just barely holding onto to a mast, communicating human helplessness in the wake of nature’s unforgiving forces.

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
‘the ninth wave’ sailing on the huangpu river in front of the bund, shanghai, 2014
photo by JJY photo, courtesy cai studio

 

 

 

the public work, as well as the gallery-bound ones installed within the PSA, thematically express earth’s current environmental crisis. last year, high levels of smog in the air in china led to the horrific incident of 16,000 dead pigs found floating down the huangpu river, proving that ecological concerns in the region, as well as globally, have reached a critical level. with a focus on human interaction with nature, guo-­qiang’s exhibit explores the challenges posed by the environment, and references a symbol found in traditional chinese aesthetics and philosophy: mankind’s longing to return to a more primitive setting and restore faith in a spiritual homeland.

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
animals aboard ‘the ninth wave’, shanghai, 2014
photo by JJY photo, courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
animals aboard ‘the ninth wave’, shanghai, 2014
photo by JJY photo, courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
‘the ninth wave’ sailing on the huangpu river in front of the bund, shanghai, 2014
photo by JJY photo, courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
installation process of ‘the ninth wave’, shanghai, china, 2014
photo by stephanie lee / courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
installation process of ‘the ninth wave’, shanghai, china, 2014
photo by stephanie lee / courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
‘the ninth wave’ sailing down the huangpu river, shanghai, 2014
photo by stephanie lee / courtesy cai studio

cai guo-­qiang the ninth wave huangpu river shanghai
fabrication process of ‘the ninth wave’, fuzhou, china, april, 2014
photo by tatsumi masatoshi, courtesy cai studio

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