Cai Guo-Giang 'volcano' at Naples's MANN

Chinese artist on show till May 30 after Pompeii 'explosion'

(ANSA) - Naples, February 22 - A 32-meter brightly colored canvas, as if it were a fresco on the roof of the Toro Farnese, greets visitors to the exhibition 'In the Volcano, Cai Guo-Qiang and Pompeii'.
    The exhibition by the Chinese artist, who has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, will be at the Naples National Archaeological Museum until May 20. There was still the smell of gunpowder on Thursday after a spectacular "explosion" on Wednesday in the Pompeii amphitheater. The works immediately 'excavated' - canvases of different sizes and copies of everyday objects from antiquity, as well as reproductions of famous MANN sculptures - just after the Pompeii performance have been spread around the museum halls, from the Farnese collection to the frescoes section, from the atrium to the mosaics, to tell of an indissoluble link between the past and present and between Eastern and Western cultures. Also on display are paintings using gunpowder that had been created in New York and at the end of the route a boat, anchored to the wall and flanked by Pompeii frescoes. "When the eruption of Vesuvius buried ancient civilization, nature created a masterpiece through catastrophe, preserving monumental heritage like a time-space capsule," Cai Guo-Qiang said. The project received organizational support from Fondazione Morra.
    "Thanks to the work of Cai Guo-Qiang, folklore, allusions and the power of Oriental traditions are located, overwhelming, in the halls of MANN, proving that cultural sharing is born from an analogous capacity to look at the world with a sense of curiosity of which people in ancient times spoke," museum director Paolo Giulierini said, noting that MANN also has an current exhibition on archaeology of the ancient Sichuan until March 11 that bears witness to unremitting dialogue with China. "The artist found in the culture and history of Naples and Campania new ways to realize his 'explosion paintings'," said curator Jérme Neutres. "This dialogue is seen in the set design of the exhibition, with Cai Guo-Qiang's works inside the collections, including those of Pompeii, in a sort of treasure hunt, a back and forth between the past and the present," he said. On Thursday there was an immense crowd for the "artistic explosion" that opened the exhibition in Pompeii.