Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies

Association for Public Art

2015
$300,000

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, 2017. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, 2017. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, 2017. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

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Cai Guo-Qiang. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, 2017. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

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Digital sketch from Cai Studio of an aerial view at night of Fireflies circulating along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 2015, courtesy of the Association of Public Art.

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Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies, 2017. Photo by Jeff Fusco, courtesy of Association for Public Art.

The Association for Public Art (aPA), with guest curator Lance Fung of Fung Collaboratives, will commission internationally recognized, Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang to create an interactive public artwork of 27 "fireflies"—luminous, kinetic sculptures inspired by Chinese pedicycles—which the many daily Benjamin Franklin Parkway visitors can experience in motion as carriage passengers, pedestrians, and motorists. Known around the world for his "explosion events," Cai will create his most interactive and longest-running installation to date in Philadelphia in summer 2017. Working with guest curator Lance Fung and Fung Collaboratives, Cai's sculptures will be inspired by the traditional lanterns frequently displayed in public spaces and private homes during festivals in the artist's hometown of Quanzhou, China. Fireflies will feature the lanterns as more than simple sources of light, evoking their long-standing tradition as social instigators and as a celebrated artisanal craft. To complement the project, aPA will produce a Museum Without Walls™ audio interpretive program, offering an opportunity for audiences to hear from Cai first-hand, in combination with a series of interpretive programs coordinated with the coalition of cultural and educational institutions that comprise the Parkway Council.


Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.