A Chinese artist really did build a stairway to heaven–but it isn’t for sale.
The ladder was not in homage to Led Zeppelin, however. In 2015, Cai Guo-quiang honored his grandmother with the creation of a 1,605 ft ladder, which stretched into the sky of Quanzhou. Made of fireworks, metal wire and aluminum, the ladder was filled with gunpowder and attached to a hot air balloon. It was then launched from a boat, creating a spectacular fireworks show for all to see.
Guo-quiang is China’s most prominent fireworks artist, creating elaborate spectacles including the opening of the 2006 Olympics in Beijing. The display was a “thank you” to his grandmother, who he said “sold fish to help her grandson realize his artistic dream.”
Fans who weren’t there can relive the experience with the Kevin MacDonald directed Netflix documentary, “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-quiang.”
Guoquiang is now based in New York.
Check out the trailer here: