The Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang did what could be the loudest art piece ever in honor of the 150th anniversary of central Park last night. Guo-Qiang worked with legendary fireworks experts the Grucci family on the three-part show. The opener was a series of 600-foot fountains of fiery sparks that shot up at various locations. The second, and most absurdly out-of-control part, was called Light Cycle. In the artist’s rendering it was a 1,000 foot ring of fire hanging over the park. Viewing it as I did, from below, it just looked like an endless series of simultaneous explosions accompanied by deafening sounds. Maybe from further away you could see the ring. The final section was a series of soothing, white, streaming fireworks that illuminated the park. At this point the friend I was with got something in her eye (a firework?) and we went to the Central Park Police Station, where we listened to the officers field call after call, explaining that there had been a fireworks display and everything was ok.

- Asha Schechter [Tuesday, September 16th, 2003]


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