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CS
Cai Studio
Medium
Image rights
Photo by Lin Yi, courtesy Cai Studio

While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, Cai Guo-Qiang began exploring the properties of gunpowder in his drawings. Cai’s use of gunpowder has become central to his practice, leading to his experimentation with explosives and the development of his signature ignition events. Drawn to the medium for its myriad of associations, his gunpowder work, in addition to his repertoire of large-scale installations and social projects, draws upon Eastern philosophy, Maoist sentiment, and contemporary social issues. Though his fireworks are immediate signifiers of Chinese culture, Cai’s aim is to transcend these boundaries, establishing dialogue between viewers and the world around them. His site-specific work often alludes to the culture or history of the city or region where his work is presented, as in his series of ignitions “The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the 20th Century” (1995-96), conducted at symbolic locations in the United States to, as Cai has said, "depict the 'face' of the nuclear bomb that represents modern-day technology."

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2016
The Great Animal OrchestraFondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
2014
Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave at the Power Station of ArtCai Studio
2013
Falling Back to EarthCai Studio
View all

Fairytale, 2010

Grass lawn, 60 live birds, wild flowering plants, Wooden Airplane by Chen Zongzhi and Wang Qiang No. 1 by Wang Qiang, submarines by Li Yuming, helicopters by Xu Bin and Wu Shuzhai, flying saucers by Du Wenda
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CS
Cai Studio
Medium
Image rights
Photo by Lin Yi, courtesy Cai Studio

While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, Cai Guo-Qiang began exploring the properties of gunpowder in his drawings. Cai’s use of gunpowder has become central to his practice, leading to his experimentation with explosives and the development of his signature ignition events. Drawn to the medium for its myriad of associations, his gunpowder work, in addition to his repertoire of large-scale installations and social projects, draws upon Eastern philosophy, Maoist sentiment, and contemporary social issues. Though his fireworks are immediate signifiers of Chinese culture, Cai’s aim is to transcend these boundaries, establishing dialogue between viewers and the world around them. His site-specific work often alludes to the culture or history of the city or region where his work is presented, as in his series of ignitions “The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the 20th Century” (1995-96), conducted at symbolic locations in the United States to, as Cai has said, "depict the 'face' of the nuclear bomb that represents modern-day technology."

Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Cai Guoqiang 蔡国强
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