OK, I’ve seen many unusual art installations, but Xu Bing‘s Tobacco Project at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts may take the cake.
Mimicking a tiger skin rug, the installation is created entirely with what else……cigarettes, more than 600,000 of them. Consequently, the viewing experience is not only visual but sensory as the sweet smell of tobacco fills the room.
How, you ask, was this constructed? The artist made a brown paper drawing for a crew to follow as they put it together, gluing the cigarettes to carpet. The piece was so large that it had to be done in modules that were fit together in the exhibition space.
To explain this creation, one only has to read the words from these artists: