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Art And Life: The Ninth Wave


The Ninth Wave’ sailing on the Huangpu River

"The Ninth Wave," an art piece by Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang sails down the Huangpu River as part of the 2014 Power Station Art exhibition in Shanghai July 17, 2014. The artwork features a fishing boat from the artist's hometown of Fujian depicting 99 fake stuffed animals that have been sickened by the environment. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (CHINA - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ORG XMIT: CB001


The Ninth Wave was created by Guoqiang Cai, which was inspired by Nine Waves of Aivazovsky. The weathered fishing boat sailed along the Huangpu River with 99 animals, such as tigers, pandas, camels, and other animals. The facial expression and states of animals were vivid. Both the ferocious and tame animals looked very weak and sullen with their drooping heads, which looked like they were overwhelmed by the wave. Anything was so small in front of nature, and all animals were at stake when they met the ninth wave. The huge size of the installation artwork is easy to have a sense of powerlessness and decadent when you have to look up at the drooping heads.

This work expressed the current environmental crisis on the earth. There was a horrific incident of 16,000 dead pigs found floating down the Huangpu River in China because of high levels of smog in the air in 2013. This issue had caught an ecological alarm with a critical level in that region, and this can also attract the attention of the world. Guoqiang Cai’s artworks explore the environmental challenges to express that “mankind’s longing to return to a more primitive setting and restore faith in a spiritual homeland” in traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy

This installation artwork was thought-provoking of the environment and the relationship between the human and the animals, especially he put the work in front of the Huangpu River. Shanghai is a rapidly developing city. Guoqiang put this work in Huangpu River with the background of the concrete jungle, which was easy to have a profound reflection of life and social issues. When you stood there to see the skyscrapers and to hear the noisy sound of traffic, this work is easier to strike a chord. It was also a combination of life and art.

What do you think about it?