NEA Grant-Fireflies







The Association for Public Art in Philadelphia, PA, received a $30,000 Art Work: Visual Art award to support the public art commission of Fireflies by New York-based artist Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957). The interactive public artwork will consist of luminous, kinetic sculptures inhabiting the form of free pedi- cabs that will traverse the one-mile length of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia for one month in the fall of 2017. Planned in collaboration with guest curator Lance Fung, visitors will experience the Parkway in motion from new perspectives as passengers, pedestrians, and motorists.

Inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns, the work refers to lanterns as more than a source of light, evoking their long-standing tradition as social instigators and as celebrated artisanal crafts. The project will include community workshops, an opening light parade, and interpretive programming.


Credits: IMAGE 1: Cai Guo-Qiang, Proposal for Fireflies, 2015. Digital rendering. Courtesy Cai Studio. IMAGE 2: Cai Guo-Qiang, Sketch for Fireflies, 2015. Pencil and marker on paper, 21.6 x 27.9 cm.

Collection of the artist. Courtesy Cai Studio. Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies by artist Cai Guo-Qiang was commissioned by the Association for Public Art (aPA) with Guest Curator Lance Fung of Fung Collaboratives and with major support provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.