Cai Guo-Qiang at the Beijing Olympics

Olypic Stadium. Courtesy ESPN/Getty Images.

When the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics kicks off today, the pyrotechnics spectacle silhouetting the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium will spark familiarity to many in the art world. That is because the Director of Visual and Special Effects for this Olympiad is none other than Cai Guo-Qiang (Season 3).

Though security was tight, footage of the rehearsals nonetheless leaked onto South Korean TV and YouTube. To catch a quick preliminary glimpse, click HERE.

The celebrated artist and his fireworks were recently showcased in a retrospective at the Guggenheim. Meanwhile, one can also snatch up Cai’s specially designed t-shirt for the Whitney Biennial, in collaboration with retailer Gap.