Cai Guo-Qiang Kicks Off Christie's Shanghai With A Bang (Literally)

    With the help of the legendary Chinese artist, the auction house went all out to celebrate its first ever mainland sale with the live creation of a gunpowder drawing for charity.
    Cai Guo-Qiang creates a gunpowder drawing to be sold for charity on September 25, 2013 as part of Christie's celebrations of its September 26 Shanghai auction. (Christie's)
    Liz FloraAuthor
      Published   in Finance

    Cai Guo-Qiang creates a gunpowder drawing on September 25, 2013 at Union Church in Shanghai as part of Christie's celebrations of its September 26 Shanghai auction. (Christie's)

    Christie's landmark Shanghai auction is set for September 26, and the auction house teamed up yesterday with legendary Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang to celebrate—with gunpowder.

    As part of the auction house's ongoing festivities to promote the multi-category sale, Cai held a live show on September 25 in Shanghai's Union Church, where he created a gunpowder drawing that will be auctioned for charity at tomorrow's event.

    The work, entitled Homeland, was produced when the gunpowder was ignited to create the drawing on paper. The proceeds will benefit the Quanzhou Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation.

    Cai Guo-qiang, Homeland. The gunpowder-on-paper work was created on September 25, 2013 for Christie's inaugural Shanghai auction, where it will be sold for charity. (Christie's)

    “Christie’s has long been committed to developing the art market in China,” said Cai Guo-Qiang in a statement. “I am honored to have been invited to collaborate on this memorable occasion."

    Since charity donations by Chinese artists are rare, Christie's presence may mark a new era for auction culture in China. According to Christie's CEO Steven P. Murphy, “Christie’s has always been committed to promoting Chinese contemporary art across the world. Mr. Cai’s support and participation in our inaugural auction has provided a great opportunity to further promote contemporary art in China. We look forward to engaging with and inspiring more talented Chinese artists through our business and operations, and introducing more Chinese contemporary art to the global stage.”

    Watch an interview with the artist below:

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