The Fabric Workshop & Museum, December 11, 2009
Narration by Marion Boulton Stroud
© Cai Guo-Qiang

On a forty-meter long piece of silk charmeuse, Cai Guo-Qiang carefully applied gunpowder to illustrate his interpretation of the story of friendship between Kippy Stroud and Anne d'Harnoncourt. The gunpowder was then ignited, creating scorched imprints on the drawing. The drawing was then laid down into a man-made river filled with flowing water. In time, the drawing will gradually fade, and will eventually become homogeneous and indistinguishable. Time Scroll’s dematerialization forms an interesting dichotomy of traditional folk art and contemporary art. Contrary to conventional museum practices where an artwork is meticulously preserved and conserved, the artist illustrates the disintegration of the work¬† over time, as an allegory to memory and nostalgia that fades as time passes. It is as though the only thing that can be kept is a mental image in the viewers' memories.