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In the wee hours of June 15, the audience gathered at the Huily Island Harbour in Quanzhou,China, watched in awe as a giant balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium slowly made its way up. Attached to it was a 500-meter (1,640-feet) wire ladder. This of course, was no ordinary ladder but an art installation created by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.
Called "Sky Ladder," it was coated with gunpowder and gold fireworks, that provided a spectacular show when ignited by the artist who is known for his ambitious pyrotechnic artworks.
While the show that lasted 2 minutes and 30 seconds was perfect, it has taken the artist four tries and 21 years to fulfill his childhood dream. Guo-Qiang's first attempt in Bath, UK, in 1994 had to be abandoned due to high winds. In 2001, his permission to light up the skies of Shanghai was rescinded due to limited aerial access following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. in New York City. His third attempt in Los Angeles three years ago, met with a similar fate thanks to the city's wildfires.
Not one to give up, the artist planned the latest attempt in his hometown to celebrate his grandmother's 100th birthday. Sure enough, fourth time was the charm!