Saturday, November 30, 2013


Some months ago I read an article in Smithsonian magazine about Cai Guo-Qiang, who is a gunpowder artist. Well, gee...those are two words you don't often see juxtaposed. 

Anyway, the gunpowder artwork was a little beyond me, but some of the things he said in the article about the process of creating his art resonated with me, and I got to thinking about his words again tonight. 

This, to me, is the essence of patience:

"Many things don’t have an immediate solution, and many conflicts cannot be resolved immediately. Sometimes things take time to heal and when you take a longer time you might be better able to accomplish your goal.

"[As an artist] the things you’re trying to relay, they can be full of conflict, and you do not necessarily have to use art to resolve all these conflicts. As long as you acknowledge these conflicts or address the conflict in your art, that is already meaningful.

"John Keats [expressed] the idea of “negative capability”: the distinction of a first-rate mind is that it can entertain conflicting ideas, “is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching” after certainty."*

Thank you, Mr. Cai.

I needed your words tonight. 

When I googled the artist this evening, I found these cool images of his recent show in Australia. And this is the artist's home page.

Just watched this video from Cai Guo-Qiang's web page. I liked it.

*From Smithsonian, April 2013, article about gunpowder artist Cai Guo-Qiang

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