Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang is kind of frustrating in how it just skims the surface of Cai and his art, but it's still interesting to watch.

I read a review of Sky Ladder on Ebert's website, and it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, the review pretty much laid out the entire movie. The movie seemed to just kind of skim over the surface of things. It didn't go in-depth on much. I guess it really was mostly about the Sky Ladder project, which is a pretty weird project.

From what Cai said, he wanted to go to space, and knew he'd never get to, so he decided this would be his way to communicate with aliens, and hopefully it would be a back-and-forth. It's not like the ladder even went that high. And he worked on it for like 21 years and then when he finally did it no one could even see it. Really was a personal project at that point. It didn't go very high. But it did look cool.

It was kind of sad to see him do something so uninspired for the APEC event. My favorite stuff he does is with the powder. I especially liked the flowers that looked like tulips. It was like "whoa, those are flowers." I like the lady they asked "what was he trying to say with the APEC event" and she said "I don't know," because he wasn't trying to say anything by the time it was done.

Seeing his grandma and dad was pretty terrible. They were both basically zombies, his dad more than his grandma, since he couldn't talk at all. Makes you wonder what you're even keeping them alive for at that point. Cai said he didn't know if he was doing the right thing by not telling his grandma about his dad's condition. I think he definitely was. Her knowing wouldn't achieve anything.

It was crazy that his dad spent all their money on books and then they had to burn the books. I wonder why his wife was crying when they finally did the sky ladder. She was probably sick of the project like that one lady who was working on it and was saying "we're just throwing money away on this, and nobody's even going to see it, this is insane." It was cool that he worked on it for so long and finally got to make it happen.

He needed a lot of help for that, though. I didn't particularly like the part where everyone was working so hard and he was just lying there.

I watched it in bits and pieces (same as I always do with documentaries), but it went by really quickly. I was super surprised when it was over. I guess it is only 80 minutes, though, which is pretty short.

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