Cai Guo-Qiang

In: Featured Artists

8 Jan 2007

Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. The son of a historian and painter, Cai was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute from 1981 to 1985 and his work has, since the outset, been scholarly and often politically charged. Having accomplished himself across a variety of media, Cai initially began working with gunpowder to foster spontaneity and confront the suppression that he felt from the controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China at the time. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, Cai explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that eventually led to his experimentation with explosives on a massive scale, and the development of his signature explosion events, exemplified in his series, Projects for Extraterrestrials. These explosion projects, both wildly poetic and ambitious at their core, aim to establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe around them.

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