Using Gun Powder to Create Art

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang creates two different art forms using canvas, cardboard and gun powder. The first step in his process is a performance art and the finished result is a canvas that is artistically decorated.

Cai begins by spreading gunpowder over enormous canvas panels, he also drops bits of cardboard and arranges all of it appropriately. Once this is finish volunteers slowly and carefully cover the canvases with a large cardboard stencil. Then Cai lights a fuse which ignites the powder in a bright explosion that covers the canvases in just a few seconds.

Once the explosion has finished volunteers put out the flames then carefully remove what is left of the cardboard stencil. The result are canvases covered in dark browns and grays that Cai designs in patterns often inspired by nature.

A video of Cai’s performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is online:

For updates, stay tuned to To learn more about Cai’s work and his past projects you can visit his website, while those interesting in finding out more about his performance in Los Angeles can find an article on the event at NPR. For all breaking gun news keep browsing news feeds.

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