Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies
September 15 - October 8, 2017, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
- Internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s largest public art project in the US in a decade
- Commissioned by the Association for Public Art with Fung Collaboratives on the occasion of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s centennial, with major support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
- 27 customized pedicabs adorned with hundreds of luminous colorful lanterns will glide along the Parkway at night, drawing on memories of the traditional lantern festivals of the artist’s childhood
- Runs September 15 – October 8, 2017 on the Parkway, Thursdays through Sundays from 6-10pm
- Opening celebration and world premiere is September 14th, with a special artist-led public performance
- Free public rides in the pedicabs begin September 15th with one-way trips from Iroquois Park to Sister Cities Park and vice versa. Walk-ups are welcome and online reservations will be coming soon.
*Free public rides in the Fireflies pedicabs begin Friday, September 15th, the day after the opening celebration and world premiere. Participants may board the vehicles at Iroquois Park or Sister Cities Park on the Parkway. Walk-ups are welcome and online reservations will be available. These are one-way rides with the option of reserving a return trip online. Stay tuned for more information!
members of the public are invited to board the vehicles to take rides up and down the Parkway from Sister Cities Park at Logan Square to Iroquois Park across from Eakins Oval
In September 2017, the Association for Public Art (aPA) in Philadelphia presents a major new site-specific work by the internationally acclaimed artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Commissioned by aPA with Fung Collaboratives on the occasion of the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies invites the public to actively experience the grand boulevard as a nocturnal dreamscape conjured from the languorous movements of bobbing clusters of glowing handcrafted Chinese lanterns and groups of customized peddle vehicles. Nine hundred illuminated lanterns in a bevy of colors and shapes will float along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, held aloft by a fleet of 27 pedicabs.
Fireflies, the artist’s largest public art project in the US in a decade, runs for approximately four weekends: September 14 to October 8, 2017, Thursdays through Sundays from 6-10pm. Beginning September 15, members of the public are invited to board the vehicles to take rides up and down the Parkway from Sister Cities Park at Logan Square to Iroquois Park across from Eakins Oval.
The lanterns in Fireflies are being handcrafted in Cai Guo-Qiang’s hometown of Quanzhou, China. Their bright, twinkling lights evoke the artist’s own childhood memories. Among them will be orb and star shaped lanterns, as well as designs of emojis; pandas, roosters and tigers; space aliens and UFOs; cars, trains, boats, submarines, helicopters, and rocket ships; and hamburgers, sushi, and donuts. Transported to Philadelphia, their various colors and shapes evoke the diverse cultures and peoples that come from all over the world to take root in the United States.
Major support for Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Your gift will support the world premiere of Fireflies in Philadelphia.