Chinese artist and pyrotechnic, Cai Guo-Qiang, dedicated something of a spectacle to his grandmother for her 100th birthday: a stairway to heaven, and ignited it.
Gui-Qiang’s 1,650-foot-high Sky Ladder is made from gunpowder loaded with copper wire, which he lit from flying within a hot air balloon. The video above is Guo-Qiang’s third, and very successful attempt at bringing his stairway to fruition. The artist made his first attempt in 1994, but the project was unsuccessful due to strong winds. He tried again in 2001, but Shanghai denied him permits in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. However, just in time for his grandmother’s birthday, Cai Guo-Qiang has succeeded, and man, is it beautiful.
Take a look at more of Guo-Qiang’s art here.