Events Calendar

Back to All Events

Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies

  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Sister Cities Park to Iroquois Park 18th Street + The Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA, 19144 United States (map)
 Cai Guo-Qiang, "Fireflies", 2016. Digital rendering. Courtesy of Cai Studio.

Cai Guo-Qiang, "Fireflies", 2016. Digital rendering. Courtesy of Cai Studio.

This event is organized and presented by the Association for Public Art with Fung Collaboratives.

The Association for Public Art (aPA) presents a major site-specific work by renowned contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Commissioned by aPA with Fung Collaboratives on the occasion of the centennial of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, "Fireflies" is the artist’s largest public art project in the US in a decade. “I am shedding the conventions of large-scale celebrations to inject childlike playfulness and laughter into the centennial’s festivities,” says Cai Guo-Qiang.

"Fireflies" will invite residents and visitors to actively experience the Parkway at night as hundreds of luminous colorful lanterns attached in clusters to 27 customized pedicabs glide along the city’s grand boulevard. Members of the public can board the vehicles and take free rides up and down the Parkway from Sister Cities Park to Iroquois Park, or watch the delicate dance of glowing orbs from a distance. The lanterns, handcrafted in Cai Guo-Qiang’s hometown of Quanzhou, China, evoke the artist’s own childhood memories, with shapes ranging from orbs, stars, and emojis to space aliens, UFOs, and helicopters.

There will be an opportunity to make advance reservations, as well as access for walk-up riders. A five-minute documentary video will also accompany the installation, taking viewers from Quanzhou to Philadelphia.

Major support for "Cai Guo-Qiang: Fireflies" has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

For more information, visit