On March 31st, Cai Guo-Qiang’s third project in collaboration with TRLab will give NFT Players the opportunity to participate on-site and online in Cai’s world of daytime fireworks. Unfolding over three chapters, “Your Daytime Fireworks” allows the audience to set off their own virtual daytime fireworks, experiencing the work and process of Cai, known for using gunpowder as a medium, igniting fireworks across the globe under differing weather conditions.
Cai began creating art with gunpowder when he resided in his hometown, Quanzhou, China. Then, when he lived in Japan from the end of 1986 to 1995, he developed his signature visual explosions which have since gathered international acclaim. Notable works and events include Sky Ladder (2015) and Big Footprints (2008) during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.
Cai has been experimenting with NFTs in collaboration with TRLab since July of 2021 when his first NFT ‘Transient Eternity — 101 Ignitions of Gunpowder‘ debuted. This project amassed $2.5 million, setting the record for the highest NFT sale from a non-crypto-native artist. His subsequent NFT, ‘Exploding the Self,’ was sold out within minutes of its release and proceeds from both events were donated to the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai and the Cai Foundation in New York. “’Transient Eternity’ is the existence of the explosion moment itself—not the videos or photographs with which the ignition instant was preserved in the traditional sense, or the physical gunpowder painting that was born from the ignition,” said Cai.
This participation from the community with his NFTs is how the idea for “Your Daytime Fireworks” came about, according to Cai. Since the visuals of daytime fireworks are influenced by the surrounding environmental conditions such as weather and local regulations on minimum safety distances, players will be able to simultaneously experience the highs and lows of the process, just as the artist does.
“I am constantly in the pursuit of creative breakthroughs,” said Cai. “The experience of working with TRLab (twice now) and experimenting with NFTs made me appreciate firsthand the special importance of community engagement in the NFT world, which resonates with diverse aspects of my art methodology: working with different cultural and regional communities around the globe over the years, inviting audiences to participate in the making of my artworks and transforming this process into an integral part of the works, and creating firework events that attract hundreds of millions of viewers who watch on-site and online. Perhaps there are still untapped possibilities yet to be discovered? This is how ‘Your Daytime Fireworks’ came into being.”