Cai Guo-Qiang at Freer Sackler

Last week I walked over to the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Galleries to see Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang blow up a Christmas Tree. So, maybe it did not blow up, but there were sparks and loud noises- like gunshots- and a lot of smoke. A LOT of smoke. But that was the point really- the tree smokes- and the smoke drifts away in the shape of a tree- a platonic tree- the ideal tree- and then drifts away.

While the concept is very intriguing, the event itself was a little underwhelming. That is, until I went to Seattle the week after and Guo-Qiang had an installation up in the Seattle Art Museum, and I knew who he was and what his art was about (kind of). And it was wonderful. Check out that post to see the hanging lit up cars installed at SAM.