Cai's Odyssey

Fall's most explosive event will take place Oct. 6 when noted Chinese gunpowder wizard Cai Guo-Qiang creates a unique work of art for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in a warehouse near the Astrodome. But there's a lot more to the story than that. CultureMap takes you inside the making of a masterpiece from start to finish and chronicles the journey of a contemporary artist who honors ancient traditions to produce unforgettable art.

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The countdown officially begins

By Clifford Pugh - September 10th, 2010

The warehouse where Cai Guo-Qiang will ignite his gunpowder work of art only holds a few hundred people.  But you'll still get to see the explosive happenings on CultureMap. On Oct. 6, Cai's work will be live streamed right here ...

Learn More from MFAH

MFAH’s new Arts of China Gallery Opens Sunday Oct. 17

When it’s finished, Cai Guo-Qiang’s monumental landscape, at 162-by-10 feet, will be trucked back to the MFAH and installed to line the four walls of the museum’s new Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery, which opens Oct. 17. Odyssey is the first in a series of four contemporary commissions for the museum’s Arts of Asia galleries. Do-Ho Suh, Anish Kapoor and Tatsuo Miyajima also have projects in the works.


Part of the Crew, Part of the Art

Cai Guo-Qiang has created his gunpowder drawings in many parts of the world, including Japan, Taiwan, France, and his hometown, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. But he doesn’t work alone. Typically, the effort includes his studio team plus up to 80 sturdy local volunteers who spend several days with the artist, stenciling, cutting and drawing, and assisting with the explosion on the final day.