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Monday, April 07, 2008

Cai Guo Qiang Performance Art

I was in New York last week and was fortunate to see the Cai Guo Qiang exhibit at the Guggenheim. For his work, Cai draws on a wide variety of materials, mediums and traditions—elements of feng shui, Chinese medicine and philosophy, images of dragons and tigers, and gunpowder, lots of gunpowder. Since September 11th he has begun using explosives both as metaphor and material. His explosive works, like Black Rainbow, become momentary, elusive demonstrations of alchemy and violence. His also uses gun powder residue as a medium for "painting". He will be the creeative director for the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

I share it with you here because it reminds me of the overwhelming power of human imagination. This gift can be used by artists and activists like Cai, and it can be used in business. We sometimes forget how powerful provacative imagination can be in business. We forget that humans make decisions with two halves of a complex brain. We forget we are hard wired for emotion and beauty. We underutilize art and underestimate its force to change opinion and open the mind to new ideas.

Trade shows managers are in the ideal position to utilize three dimensional art to transmit business-related messages. The best trade show exhibits are art, "made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind, by transmitting emotions and/or ideas". What better place to source inspiration for your next business project than from artists like Cai?

1 comment:

William Moeller said...

Amazing installation! Arresting imagery that somehow bypasses the intellect to strike deep emotional chords. I did not "think" about the art so much as simply "experienced" it. Disturbing and quieting at the same time.