cai guo-qiang: saraab
December 5, 2011 - May 26, 2012
Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab showcases Cai’s diverse body of work, ranging from his signature gunpowder drawings to large-scale site-specific installations and the explosion event of Black Ceremony. Cai Guo-Qiang’s biggest exhibition since I Want To Believe at the Guggenheim Museum in 2008, Saraab (“mirage”) will feature more than fifty works, including sixteen newly commissioned pieces, thirty recent works and nine documentary videos.
Saraab continues Mathaf’s commitment to present an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art as it turns eastward to consider dynamics across Asia for the first time. Works on view explore the historic and contemporary iconography of the Arabian Gulf and its seafaring culture, as well as the Islamic history of Quanzhou. They also address the ambiguity of Qatar and China’s relationships to one another, and Cai’s own creative development over a lifetime. In keeping with its title, Saraab questions whether there is something illusory or unobtainable about the process of cultural, temporal and geographic translation.
Pictured above: Installation view of Fragile (2011), Gunpowder on 480 panels of porcelain, 318 x 1800 cm (125 3/16 x 708 11/16 in.) overall, approximately 30 x 39.75 cm (11 13/16 x 15 5/8 in.) each panel, 480 panels in total, Commissioned by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Photo by Hiro Ihara, Courtesy Cai Studio