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June 25, 2006

Arbitrary Histories


For the past 19 years, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Quiang has been busy: paintings, sculptures, performance art (mostly fireworks and explosions) and temporary exhibits. As explained on his site, his work draws on a wide variety of traditions and materials such as "fengshui, Chinese medicine, dragons, roller coasters, computers, vending machines and gunpowder."

This river
, made out of bamboo and resin, is a good example of one of his works (plus it's incredibly whimsical and I like it). In 2001 it snaked its way across the floor of the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Lyon. If visitors wished, they could explore the twists and turns of the river in one of three yak skin boats.


Cai Guo-Quiang's roller coaster was first exhibited in 2001 in Lyon, at our same Musee d'Art Contemporain, but the photo above is from its 2003 exhibit in Gent, Belgium (and it's multiple-rooms this time). Of course it's not exactly built for thrills but you do get to stare at Guo-Quang's ceiling mural as you putt along!

June 25, 2006 | Permalink


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This is a nice exhibit. I want a river like that connecting from my garden to my workplace, and on to the library.... flowing right through the library, with tributaries running along each aisle of shelves . . . . But I'd need to use that rollercoaster for the uphill bits .. . . unless I was living in Escher's 'Waterfall'.

Someone made this model of Escher's Waterfall, so it can be done!

Posted by: Mark | Jun 27, 2006 9:00:58 AM

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