Mesmerizing “Sky Ladder” Made of Fireworks Ignites as It Drifts into the Sky
On June 15, at the break of dawn, artist Cai Guo-Qiang set off a giant white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium. As the orb ascended above Huiyu Island Harbour in Quanzhou, China, it carried with it a 500-meter-long ladder coated in quick-burning fuses and gold fireworks. Guo-Qiang then ignited the structure, setting off his awe-inspiring creation called Sky Ladder.
The pyrotechnic piece was short-lived, burning for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds before fading out. Although fleeting, it was a spectacular show and Guo-Qiang’s fourth and final attempt at a performance like this. He had the initial idea as a child and first began the artistic endeavor in 1994, and tried it again in 2001 and 2012. Guo-Qiang now considers his vision complete, stating, “Despite all life’s twists and turns, I have always been determined to realize it.” He goes on to explain, “Sky Ladder today is tender, and touches my heart deeply: it carries affection for my hometown, my relatives and my friends.”
There isn’t yet an official recording of the performance, but check out the short, mesmerizing video below to see theSky Ladder in action.