About Cai Guo-Qiang
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. From 1981 to 1985, he studied stage design at the Shanghai Theater Academy. His artistic expression spans multiple mediums including painting, installation, video, and performance. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that eventually led to his experimentation with explosives on a massive scale and to the development of his signature explosion events. Drawing upon Eastern philosophy and contemporary social issues as a conceptual basis, these projects and events aim to establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe around them, utilizing a site-specific approach to culture and history.
Cai’s accolades include the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2007; in 2012, he was honored as a laureate for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts in Painting by the prestigious Praemium Imperiale, an award that recognizes lifetime achievement in the arts in categories not covered by the Nobel Prize; in 2016 he received the Asia Art Award. Cai also served as Director of Visual and Special Effects for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
For the past three decades, his art has been featured in major international exhibitions, and numerous world-famous art institutions, have held his solo exhibitions, among them Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006 and I Want to Believe, which opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2008 and later travelled to the National Art Museum of China and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. In 2013, his solo exhibition Da Vincis do Povo, went on a three-city tour in Brazil in 2013--from Brasilia to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it was the most visited exhibition by a living artist worldwide that year with over one million visitors.
On June 15, 2015, Cai realized his most recent explosion event Sky Ladder off of Huiyu Island, Quanzhou, China. His latest solo exhibition, Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting opened in September 2016 at the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht in the Netherlands.
He currently lives and works in New York.