Wolves in Singapore
Cai Guo-Qiang's Head On at the National Museum
||Berlin, New York, Bilbao, Beijing, Taipei, and now Singapore: Cai Guo-Qiang's Head On is thrilling art audiences worldwide. For his impressive installation, the artist, who lives in New York, has 99 life-sized wolves barrel into a glass wall. The predatory animals pushing on relentlessly in rapid succession, crashing against the transparent barrier. While Cai's work, which was conceived for the Deutsche Bank Collection, was inspired by Berlin and its history, its message is generally valid, regardless of the cultural context. "I wanted to portray the universal human tragedy resulting from this blind urge to press forward, the way we try to attain our goals without compromise," said the artist in an interview with ArtMag.
Head On had its premiere at the Deutsche Guggenheim in 2006, where the installation was on view together with the video Illusion II and the wall-sized gunpowder drawing Vortex. All three works are now also shown at the National Museum of Singapore. The video shows one of Cai's pyrotechnical stagings, for which he had a small house in Berlin blown up, creating a extraordinary fireworks display. The gradually darkening evening sky forms the backdrop for a fascinating spectacle: Fireworks explode in colorful cascades and the house goes up in flames. Vortex was also created on location in Berlin - in the atrium of the Deutsche Bank building on Unter den Linden. The gunpowder drawing shows the silhouette of a pack of wolves whose bodies form a giant vortex. After the wolves from Head On conquered the White Cube of the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin and stormed up the iconic spiral-shaped ramp of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the energy-charged pack of predators is now being presented in Singapore in a completely new ambience: For the current exhibition, the gallery room of the National Museum was bathed in a dramatic black color.
Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On
July 2 -August 31, 2010
National Museum of Singapore