Cai Guo-Qiang at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2009 Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project, 2009. Photo by Lonnie Graham. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Fabric Workshop and Museum Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project (Video Installation), 2009. Video projection. Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño. Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño. Time Flies Like A Weaving Shuttle, 2009-10. Twenty tapestries created on site by five artisan weavers from China, in residence at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Five wooden weaving looms, cotton and synthetic yearn, audio and sound system, and wall text. Photo: Lonnie Graham. Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño. Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009 (detail, back). Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
Cai Guo-Qiang at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, 2009
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Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project, 2009. Photo by Lonnie Graham.
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Cai Guo-Qiang at the Fabric Workshop and Museum
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Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project (Video Installation), 2009. Video projection.
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Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
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Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
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Time Flies Like A Weaving Shuttle, 2009-10. Twenty tapestries created on site by five artisan weavers from China, in residence at The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Five wooden weaving looms, cotton and synthetic yearn, audio and sound system, and wall text. Photo: Lonnie Graham.
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Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009. Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
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Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle, 2009 (detail, back). Twenty tapestries created on-site by five artisan Tujia weavers in residence (Li Chengfeng, Li Qiumei, Li Daiqin, Liang Aixiu, and Ye Jumei) five wooden weaving looms, wool yarn, audio, and a bulletin board with photographs and documents relating to Tujia culture and the weavers. Dimensions variable. Photo: Carlos Avendaño.
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Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms consists of a poetic meditation on the passing of time, memory, and memorializing. One of the artist's signature "explosion events," Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project has been specifically commissioned for the exhibition and occurred at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; followed by a second explosion event at the Fabric Workshop and Museum. Inspired by the memory of Anne d'Harnoncourt (1943-2008), late director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and her long friendship with the founder and artistic director of the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Marion Boulton Stroud, Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms addresses themes of memory, loss and renewal on a personal and public level. It is Cai's first solo exhibition in Philadelphia and the first in the United States since his retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in early 2008.

Fallen Blossoms: Explosion Project took place on Friday, December 11, 2009, starting at approximately 4:15 p.m. on the East Terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and was followed by an event featuring the creation of a gunpowder drawing at the Fabric Workshop and Museum at 6 p.m. Each event was momentary. Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms includes four components, distributed between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fabric Workshop and Museum. In addition to the explosion event on December 11, a series of four gunpowder drawings and a sculptural installation are on view inside the Museum in a presentation titled Light Passage. Two newly commissioned works, Time Flies Like a Weaving Shuttle and Time Scroll, were on display on the seventh and eighth floor of the Fabric Workshop and Museum.


Bio
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. He initially began working with gunpowder to foster spontaneity and confront the suppression that he felt from the controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China at the time. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, which led to the development of his signature explosion events. His installation works draw upon feng shui, philosophy, Chinese medicine and history, employing a site-specific, interdisciplinary approach that cuts across diverse mediums including drawing, painting, video and performance art. 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 was Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In 2008, he was the subject of a retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. He has lived in New York since 1995.