Boatloads of sick animals and seas of ink at Cai Guo Qiang's provocative Shanghai art show
Move over, Ai Weiwei: almost equally controversial artist Cai Guo Qiang is creating a buzz for some pretty in-your-face statements about China's environmental crisis.
The artist, who has shown (considerably less shocking) work here at the Contemporary Art Gallery and Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, has just opened a show at Shanghai's Power Station of Art that includes a weathered, floating barge filled with dozens of taxidermied animals--including, apparently, camels and tigers--splayed to look like they're ill or shipwrecked. Called The Ninth Wave, the rather frightening sight supposedly comments on the megacity's Huangpu River, which was last year the horrific locale of more than 16,000 dumped pig carcasses.
Also at the show, there's a giant lake dug out of the museum floor and filled with black calligraphy ink--a clever reference not just to the ancient Chinese art material but to water pollution.
Cai emigrated to New York City from Fujian in the 1980s, and has executed such huge, ambitious works as a giant gunpowder explosion for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies and a room-filling scene of wolves, dressed in goatskins, at the Guggenheim.
It's interesting to note, by the way, that the Power Station is state-owned.