The Yangjiang Group’s projects are largely tied to calligraphy, which was the starting point for the structure and form of their opening-night firework project for The Real Thing.
The work consisted of a spectacular firework display on the River Mersey, with over 20,000 rockets fired in just six minutes. Combining sound and laser elements, the display took the form of a battle with volleys of fireworks being fired from two barges on the river, and organised in six distinct phases – Battle Stations, Intelligence Gathering, War at Sea, Sea-to-Air Missile Interceptors, Air Raid, Sea-to-Ground-to-Air: The Final Battle. With the victory finally won the words ‘If I knew the danger ahead, I’d have stayed well clear’ ignited across the battlefield. In referencing the ‘gunpowder’ works of the Chinese master Cai Guo Qiang, the Yangjiang Group is making a bold statement about the younger generation’s power to unsettle and usurp the older generation. A film of the event can be seen on the screen in this room.