Transient Eternity—101 Ignitions of Gunpowder PaintingsJul 14, 2021 - Aug 14, 2021

Artist:
Cai Guo-Qiang
Organizer:
Rockbund Art Museum
Co-Organiser:
TR Lab
  • On Wednesday June 30, 2021, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai, is delighted to launch its brand-new digital platform RAM+. Ten years since their first collaboration, RAM is honored to once again, invite the internationally acclaimed artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who curated RAM’s inaugural exhibition in 2010, to mark this new milestone of the museum’s development. On the occasion of RAM’s 10th anniversary, Cai has created his first Non-Fungible Token (NFT) project Transient Eternity—101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings. The artworks will be on view from July 14–August 14, 2021 at TR Lab (trlab.com), a platform partnering with RAM in the discovery of NFT art from the world’s leading artists.

    Over the past ten years, Rockbund Art Museum has promoted contemporary art practices with a focus on Asia, committed to going beyond the fixed definition of an exhibition, and looked to expand the dialogue with artists by gathering of critical thinkers and practitioners from other social and cultural fields. RAM+ is an extension from the museum’s physical space into the digital world — bringing unique expertise in art and a commitment to sustainable values by supporting selected artists to engage with the possibilities of digital art, and activating a curatorial approach to emerging digital ecology. Accelerated within the pandemic context, the association of digital art with NFT art offers new parameters in the digital art field. Beyond the art market and cryptocurrency community, how can an institution support the artistic creation of digital and NFT artists? RAM+ will initiate projects such as symposiums, commissions, virtual exhibitions and performative events, online publications, research and collective learning programs to embrace this new landscape and to foresee the transformative changes in contemporary art.

  • While Cai Guo-Qiang is most renowned for his explosion events using the sky as canvas—including the Footprints of History fireworks for the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony (2008), the conceptual fireworks One Night Stand over the Seine River in Paris (2013), and Sky Ladder (2015) realized in a small fishing village in his hometown—his most extensive usage of gunpowder as an artistic medium began when he started exploding it on such supports as canvas in 1984, thus establishing his unique gunpowder paintings.

    Over the decades, Cai has exhibited at major museums across regions of the world and in different cultures, for which he has created and presented a large number of gunpowder paintings. Each painting endures a meticulous preparation process but the denotation happens in a blink, yet it is uniquely precious as the artwork’s moment of birth and mind-blowing in its intrinsic artistic charm. Regrettably, the impact of these moments has gone underappreciated, as focus often remains on the results of the detonation—paintings, sketches, computer renderings, photographs and video documentation—overshadowing the value, let alone the possession, of the moment itself.

    Specially commissioned by Rockbund Art Museum on this unique occasion, Cai Guo-Qiang’s Transient Eternity transforms the “ignition moments,” a crucial part of the gunpowder paintings, to NFT. 100 ignition moments form a single NFT, while the 101st will be minted as an additional NFT—a small surprise for the NFT community. These moments all come from the pieces Cai created during his recent Individual’s Journey Through Western Art History. This Journey includes exhibitions at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Russia, the Prado Museum in Spain, the Uffizi Galleries in Italy, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Pompeii ruins in Italy, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the U.S. Each project engaged with the chapters of Western art history embodied within those institutions, and, more importantly, reflected on the dilemmas and possibilities of contemporary art.
    ... Read More

  • Beginning July 14, Transient Eternity will be featured in a 48-hour charity auction on the TR Lab platform. Half of the auction proceeds will go to Rockbund Art Museum in support of the museum’s development and digital art research programs. The other half will go toward Cai Foundation, mainly in support of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Cai Fellowship Program, which funds young Chinese artists studying in the United States.

  • About TR Lab

    TR Lab is a platform for discovering and collecting NFT art from the world's leading artists. Our mission is to offer extraordinary NFT works to collectors and art lovers alike, as well as to empower the next generation of the art community by unlocking access to groundbreaking projects. In addition to our auction platform and concierge team, we offer end-to-end service for both artists and collectors to engage with NFT art from digital production to direct issuance.

    The full name of TR is Tabula Rasa, a Latin expression meaning “blank slate.” We believe NFTs will fundamentally change art ownership and provenance. We are dedicated to collaborating with the leading artists to explore all possibilities of this medium. Our ultimate aim is to elevate the landscape of NFT art with a strong curatorial mission, and showcase NFT art from a roster of world-leading artists and exclusive collaborators.


    TR Lab has strong roots in both art and crypto worlds: it is jointly established by Dragonfly Capital, Xin Li-Cohen, Christie's Non-Executive Deputy Chairman, as well as the founders of Artsy, Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, and ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair. We are headquartered in Hong Kong with a global team across Beijing, Shanghai, London, New York, and San Francisco.

  • Transient Eternity teaser video, 2021. Directed by Shanshan Xia, produced by E.I.Art
  • Cai Guo-Qiang / Cai Guo-Qiang watches the ignition of a gunpowder painting at the Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), Madrid, 2017 © Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Cai Guo-Qiang / Ignition of Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder painting “The Spirit of Painting” at the Salón de Reinos (Hall of Realms), Madrid, 2017 © Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Cai Guo-Qiang / Cai Guo-Qiang in front of his gunpowder painting “Cosmos Selfie”, 2018. Photo courtesy Cai Studio
  • Cai Guo-Qiang / Ignition of Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder painting on glass and mirror, “Non-Brand 非品牌 5”. Photo by Sang Luo, courtesy Cai Studio
  • Viewing the Artworks Online

    The artworks will be on view from July 14–August 14, 2021 at TR Lab (trlab.com), a platform partnering with RAM in the discovery of NFT art from the world’s leading artists. 

    Beginning July 14, Transient Eternity will be featured in a 48-hour charity auction on the TR Lab platform. Half of the auction proceeds will go to Rockbund Art Museum in support of the museum’s development and digital art research programs. The other half will go toward Cai Foundation, mainly in support of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Cai Fellowship Program, which funds young Chinese artists studying in the United States.

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