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Cai Guo-Qiang Inopportune

  • Exhibition

  • December 1, 2004 - October 30, 2005
  • Building 5

Nine cars arced through the 300-foot long gallery, tumbling and suspended in midair as if by stop-action. Long transparent rods radiated from the car, pulsing with dazzling multicolored light. An explosive moment, expanded in time and space as if in a dream, the cars formed the centerpiece of Inopportune by Cai Guo-Qiang.

An adjacent gallery, opened for the first time for this installation, housed Inopportune: Stage 2, in which nine realistic-looking tigers also hovered in the air, each one pierced by hundreds of arrows. The imagery in this gallery referred to the famous 13th-century Chinese story epitomizing bravery, in which a man named Wu Song rescued a village by slaying a man-eating tiger. In yet a third space, a phantom car bristling with fireworks floated like a ghost through the glittering illusion of Times Square at night.

Engaging images of our unsettled world, Inopportune created a theatrical, psychologically charged space in which to reflect on some of the most pressing dilemmas and contradictions affecting us, such as terrorism and cultural, religious conflict; violence and beauty; and the meaning of heroism.

Learn more about Cai Guo-Qiang.

Inopportune: Stage One
photo by Kevin Kennefick

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