Residents of Quanzhou city in Fujian Province may have been baffled to see a fiery 500-meter ladder extending into the night sky on Monday.
The oddly compelling sight is owed to renowned New York-based Chinese artist Cai Guoqiang, known around the world for his gunpowder artworks.
The artist used a hot air balloon to hold up the 5.5 meter wide rope ladder, which was lit up by flames from the bottom, lasting just over two minutes.
According to the artist, it’s a dream he’s been trying to reach since he came up with the idea to create a ladder to heaven 21 years ago. His first attempt in Bath, England, failed because the hot air balloon attached to the end of the ladder wouldn’t rise.
After two more failed attempts in Shanghai and Los Angeles, the artist said he realized he needed to bring the project to his hometown in Quanzhou.
“This is the hometown of my grandma, who supported my artistic dream by selling seafood. I’ve always hoped to come back here one day, to set off the most beautiful fireworks for her,” Cai said.