I am straying from food and belly dancing in this post to give you a few pictures of a very interesting show I went to this morning at Mathaf in Doha. The show was of works by Cai Guo-Qiang, a Chinese artist who uses gun powder in his art although the first room in the show didn’t have much to do with gun powder but was a rather wonderful and mysterious installation of a fishing boat.
Many works were especially commissioned for the show including this huge multi-pannelled picture of figures in abayas where you see the effect of how he burns the gun powder to achieve a kind of painterly quality — you must excuse my language; I am only an art lover and not an art critic!
I also loved this ingenious way of showing films of how he works with a tiny projector positioned behind a clear glass hung from the ceiling with ‘invisible’ string. Very effective with very good quality images.
He also works with very delicate, intricate porcelain burning the gunpowder over it to achieve a pattern or in this case Arabic letters. I didn’t read if he carves the flowers for the mould or not but the effect is pretty stunning, the more so because of the huge scale of this particular work even if it was made of the same small panels (and the picture shows only half of the work!).
And he applies his technique to dresses. He had two mannequins facing each other and wearing what looked like Issey Miyake dresses (he lived in Japan) that he had subjected to the same gunpowder treatment which was being shown on a small screen between the two.
The show was quite fascinating with over fifty, including a series of paper works that he had also burned with gunpowder which reminded me of Fontana, while the picture above is an installation of a flying baby camel being attacked or perhaps saved by falcons!