New York-based Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang sent a fishing boat carrying fake animals floating towards the Bund on Shanghai’s Huangpu River yesterday in a piece meant to draw attention to China’s notoriously polluted water.
Cai’s project, soon set atop a massive barge by intervening Marine Police, combined elements of the Noah’s Ark story with the film Life of Pi and recalled images of last year’s unfortunate hogwash in which some 16,000 dead pigs piled up on the shore of the Huangpu.
“That incident has some influence on my original idea for this piece of work,” Cai told the Wall Street Journal yesterday.
The 99 stuffed animals onboard the boat were all produced in his hometown of Fujian province, along with the boat itself. The creatures, propped up on the vessel “as though seasick from the currents of our times,” make up the piece called “Ninth Wave”—one of several items to be featured in Cai’s upcoming show running through October at Shanghai’s Power Station of Art.
Later this month, he plans to create a gunpowder drawing called “The Bund Without Us”, imagining Shanghai without human influence.
[Images via People’s Daily // @roger_w_aka_c_rod]