Chinese artist Xu Bing‘s use of tobacco lead to some impressive installations such as the tiger-skin-pattern rug shown here. Made from 550,000 “First Class” brand cigarettes standing on end, with either filter or tip up to make an alternating pattern of orange and white, it took a serious number of time and assistants to produce, but the result is spectacular.

This carpet is the last piece in a so-called Tobacco Project, more than a decade-long undertaking bound to 3 different location: Durham, Shanghai and finally Richmond, Virginia, the base of Philip Morris tobacco industries. By using tobacco, both as a material and a subject, Xu Bing explores wide range of issues – from global trade and exploitation to the ironies of advertising.

(Images courtesy of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
My Modern Net