Heading into 2023, celebrations of the Chinese New Year—also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival—offered a joyful jumping-off point for “Ring in the New!”, a fashion story styled by global contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and photographed by Theo Liu for Vogue’s Winter issue. In it, the striking shapes and colors of the clothes are set off by the work of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who hosted the shoot at his rambling 28-acre property in Morris County, New Jersey. (It’s here that Cai and his wife, Wu Hong Hong, have mostly been based since 2020, although he also keeps an apartment in SoHo and a studio in the East Village.)

Born in Quanzhou, a port city on the Taiwan Strait, in 1957, Cai came of age amid the gunfire and cannon blasts that accompanied the Cultural Revolution—an experience that later informed the large-scale explosion events and inventive use of gunpowder at the heart of his practice. (Remember those mesmerizing fireworks displays at the 2008 and 2022 Olympics in Beijing? All Cai.) 

The (nearly) finished product, after the blast.

Photographed by Theo Liu

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