Usually it's kind of boring to watch an artist create a piece, but Cai Guo-Qiang's technique is sure to get your heart rate going. After covering a blank canvas with gun powder and strategically laid bits of cardboard, a giant stencil is laid over the entire piece before the wick is lit. Assistants quickly rush in afterwards to extinguish the remaining flames, leaving unique patterns and designs that aren't always planned.
Like any good art piece the results leave a lot of interpretation to the viewer. But people see everything from tornados to volcanos in the scorched aftermath. And since he welcomes an audience during their creation, his art it as much a performance piece as something to hang on a wall. [Cai Guo-Qiang via NPR]