Saint Laurent Partners with Artist Cai Guo-Ciang

Artist Cai Guo-Qiang and Saint Laurent have partnered together on Cai’s large-scale solo exhibition Ramble in the Cosmos at the National Art Center in Tokyo, which opens June 29. 

Born in China and currently living and working in New York and New Jersey, Cai Guo-Ciang has worked with a variety of media, but his best-known works and most frequent material motif involve gunpowder and fireworks – both of which were invented in China and have long cultural histories there. Cai’s first foray into fashion took shape as a collaboration with Issey Miyake in 1998, where he created images with gunpowder and lit them to burn the images into the clothing, which were then reproduced as prints for the designer’s Pleats Please line.

Commissioned by Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent, the launch of the artist’s latest exhibition was celebrated with a display of daytime fireworks titled When the Sky Blooms with Sakura staged at Yotsukura Beach in Iwaki City, an area that had been devastated by the 2011 Japan earthquake and the resulting tsunami. Finding consonance between the ephemerality of cherry blossoms and smoke, the work finds beauty in both grief over loss and hope for renewal.