The Kennedy Center: Science Meets Artistry - the Work of Cai Guo-Qiang

Fireworks and Performance Art

In this lesson, students will discuss the work of artist Cai Guo-Qiang within historical and cultural contexts. They will examine organizational principles in works of art, including their own works, and will understand the technological, logistical, and artistic factors that an artist takes into consideration when creating performance-oriented works in public spaces.

To gain an understanding of how a solid knowledge base in science could affect the outcome of artworks, students will study the art of pyrotechnics, paying particular attention to the chemical elements required to create colors in fireworks displays. This lesson culminates in the use of an online learning tool in which students create their own compositions for explosion events modeled after the work of Guo-Qiang and write artistic statements inspired by online materials.

Science Topics
Music, Art, and Language Arts Topics
Visual Art
High School
9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

What are you looking for?


The Kennedy Center

Website URL

Type of Resource

Lesson Plan

Assigned Categories