The uncontrollable nature of gunpowder, along with temporal, spatial and climate changes, must be taken into account for each exhibition plan, each different theme, each different condition; and it must always burn and reveal a different meaning and expression. An extended period of planning gives way to an instant burst of strength and beauty.
— Cai Guo-Qiang

R aw, primal yet undeniably elegant Howling Wolf by Cai Guo-Qiang is a wonderful example of the artist’s ability to harness the medium of gunpowder as a metaphor for destruction, cathartic creation and the fusion between humanity, beast, and nature. In the present work, the silhouette of a wolf emerges from the ashes, howling to the gunpowder moon in the upper right-hand corner. The unrestrained nature of explosives is one of the most enthralling aspects of Cai’s works, with the artist achieving a striking balance between chance and control. Moving to Japan in 1986, Cai honed the technical specifics of his hanabi (“gunpowder”) technique, producing a striking balance of artistic, philosophical and historical elements and finding rhythm and form in the midst of disorder and primal chaos. Indeed, the notion of qi is a crucial concern for the artist, setting out to “allow qi to circulate between the real and the virtual, like the breathing of the universe” (“To Dare to Accomplish Nothing,” Cai Guo-Qiang, Fondation Cartier and Thames & Hudson, 2000, pp. 117-135). As an artist who paints without painting, the sophistication, innovation and significance of Cai's gunpowder oeuvre rivals that of all his brush-wielding colleagues whilst forging a revolutionary new order for global artistic abstraction.

— 蔡國強

《嚎 叫的狼》是一幅原始、粗獷卻又優雅的作品,蔡國強在本作中以火藥比喻破壞,宣洩情感,更從中讓人、獸、天相互碰撞融合,淋漓盡致地掌控著這個獨特的創作媒材。在本作中,他以灰燼塑造出一頭狼的身影,牠正在向畫面右上方以火藥拼湊而成的月亮嚎叫。

火藥不受控制的本質,是蔡國强的作品最引人入勝的特質之一,他以這種媒材實現了介乎巧合與控制之間的絕妙平衡。蔡國強於1986年移居至日本,磨練「花火」的創作技術,在藝術性、哲學性與歷史元素之間取得出色的平衡,並在原始的混亂中找到節奏和形式。對蔡國強而言,「氣」是一個非常重要的考量,他想要「讓氣運行在真實和虛擬之間,猶如宇宙在呼吸」(《敢於無成》, 蔡國強,卡地亞基金會和泰晤士與哈德遜基金會,2000年,頁117-135)作為一位以非傳統手法繪畫的藝術家,蔡國強精緻、創新並極具影響力的火藥畫作可與一眾用畫筆創作的同儕媲美,為全球抽象藝術開創出革命性的新秩序。