The Second Special Daytime Firework: Celebrating Black Rainbow
On Cailendar Day 27, the second special Daytime Firework was revealed as an homage to Cai’s first daytime firework display: Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Valencia.
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 ‘Black Rainbow’
In March 2004, Cai was invited to Valencia, one of the world’s most important firework centers and a city famous for extravagant firework displays, to discuss a potential project for the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM). Three days before his departure for Spain, on March 11, the terrorist train bombings took place in Madrid. 191 people were killed and more than eighteen hundred were wounded. The event prompted Cai to develop the concept for Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Valencia, his first daytime fireworks display, to commemorate the victims of the bombings.
In Black Rainbow and subsequent related works, Cai inverts the brilliance of fireworks designed to explode against a night sky with black fireworks made to be exploded during the day. The inversion serves as a symbol for our increased vulnerability at the hands of terrorism.
On May 22, 2005, the Valencia project was realized over the city’s River Park at midday, the explosion unfolding in three successive rounds:
- The first rainbow appeared in rapid progression, seeming to puncture black holes in the sky.
- The second iteration fanned open into a continuous arc, formed by growing plumes of smoke.
- And the third rainbow appeared in its entirety as a simultaneous flash, forming a viscous black cloud that slowly dissipated into the blue sky in an eerie silence.