Philadelphia to Baltimore: Catch Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies at Light City

As in Philadelphia, Baltimore’s festival goers will be able to take free rides in one of the 27 Fireflies pedicabs

For those who missed Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies in Philadelphia or hoped for another ride, good news: the whimsical interactive artwork by internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang will be featured at Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Art’s Light City festival from April 14-21, 2018, and is being presented as part of the festival’s BGE Light Art Walk. Originally commissioned by the Association for Public Art (aPA) with Fung Collaboratives, Fireflies premiered in fall 2017 along Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the occasion of the Parkway’s centennial, with major funding from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Cai Guo-Qiang Fireflies riding along the Parkway
Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies in Philadelphia. Photo Jeff Fusco Photography © 2017.

As in Philadelphia, Baltimore’s festival goers will be able to take free rides in one of the 27 Fireflies pedicabs, which are adorned with clusters of hundreds of illuminated, handmade Chinese lanterns. The pedicabs will glide along Baltimore’s harbor and can be used as transportation at the festival.

See festival map for Fireflies route and stops >>

Light City is a free festival of light, music and innovation that reimagines Baltimore’s waterfront into a premier cultural destination. Fireflies will be one of 21 light installations at the festival’s BGE Light Art Walk along the Inner Harbor’s brick-lined promenade, which features art installations, performances, concerts and more, including an Opening Night Parade and a Closing Night fireworks finale.



VIDEO (below): In Philadelphia, some 5,500 people took free moon-lit rides along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in one of Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies. The artwork consists of 900 illuminated lanterns in a bevy of colors and shapes, held aloft by a fleet of 27 pedicabs. (Video by Greenhouse Media)

Major support for Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Association for Public Art (aPA), John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson, Prudent Management Associates,  Independence Foundation, the Hess Foundation, Glenmede, Cloud Gehshan, and individual donors. In-kind support provided by Tierney; Pennsylvania Convention Center; Expert Events; Park Towne Place Museum District Residences; The Logan, Philadelphia’s Hotel; China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia; Materials Conservation; Sang Kee Peking Duck House; Take One Production; Yards Brewing Co.; Clear Channel; and media sponsor WHYY. Our partners include: Velo-Park; Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Philadelphia Streets Department; the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy; Center City District; Visit Philadelphia; The Parkway Council; (as of September 2017).

Related Artworks


Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies


by Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957)

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The internationally renowned artist Cai Guo-Qiang draws on memories of the traditional lantern festivals of his childhood for his latest site-specific project.

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