The First Special Daytime Firework: Celebrating Peasant Da Vincis
Happy May the 4th from the Cailendar. On Cailendar Day 15, the long awaited first special Daytime Firework was finally revealed. The UFO-shaped firework was an homage to Cai’s show Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant Da Vincis at Rockbund Art Museum.
The following information is sourced and quoted from:
- Cai Guo-Qiang’s official website: https://caiguoqiang.com/
- Cai Guo-Qiang’s publication: Odyssey and Homecoming
On ‘Peasant da Vincis’
In May 2010, Cai Guo-Qiang held the inaugural exhibition Peasant Da Vincis at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai. The exhibition followed a six-year effort, in which Cai travelled to nine provinces and cities in China to visit peasant inventors and seek out stories of individuals pursuing their dreams. Out of this experience, Cai creatively coined the term Peasant Da Vincis as well as catchphrases such as “Never Learned How to Land,” “What’s Important Isn’t Whether You Can Fly,” and “Peasants — Making a Better City, a Better Life.”
The exhibition examines peasants’ contributions to modernization and urban development through its showcasing of over forty peasant-invented works that Cai personally collected and commissioned. These works demonstrate the unrestrained creativity of the individual peasant — independent of collective will and action. The touching stories of each life demonstrate the hope of a nation striving for a fair and democratic society.
After its first iteration at the Rockbund Art Museum, the exhibition traveled to three cities in Brazil in 2013. It drew an estimated one million visitors, with the stop at Rio de Janeiro becoming the world’s most-visited exhibition by a living artist that year.
In 2015, part of the collection appeared in Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture. During the Milan World Expo that same year, the inventions made a “homecoming” of sorts to the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan — the homeland of their namesake.