After the Smoke Clears: Cai Guo-Qiang's Odyssey

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Last night, artist Cai Guo-Qiang lit the fuse on his 162-foot gunpowder drawing Odyssey at a packed-to-fire-code-capacity warehouse near Reliant Stadium. Ignition time was originally scheduled for 7 p.m., but preparation delays stalled the explosion for a little over an hour-and-a-half. As expected, it was a spectacular sight. The gunpowder ignited rapidly and loudly across the 42 panels, leaving trace scorches that depict mountains and flowers. Today, Cai has the entire day alone with the work to assess it and make any necessary touches. It will be installed as the permanent wall covering for the MFAH�s new Arts of China Gallery, which officially opens October 17.