Watch this extraordinary (and seemingly underwhelming) moment from 2012 when Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang blew up a "pine tree" (or more accurately, a symbol of Christianity--a Christmas tree) using fireworks.
Taking place outside the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art, it was called “Black Christmas Tree,” which the Washington Post described as...
a sparkling display of light and smoke as the artist lights 2,000 custom-made fireworks attached to a 40-foot pine tree.
Regarding his choice of using a Christmas tree so close to the holiday, the artist told The WaPo that is simply made sense--why not?
While in DC, the Chinese artist was awarded Hillary Clinton's, first-of-it's-kind State Department Medal of Arts award.
Meanwhile, back in China, Quo-Qiang is considered to be a hero. As pointed out by author and expert on China, Michael Pillsbury, the author's work is seen as an effort to glorify the destruction of western civilization.