Cai Guo-Qiang | the artist
The artist Cai Guo-Qiang
Born Dec 8 1957, Quanzhou city, Fujian Province, China.
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Light Passage is a meditation on the passing of time in which the artist invokes the four seasons, a recurrent trope in Asian art, to symbolize the ephemeral nature of life. The natural elements depicted by Cais finely tuned technique of igniting gunpowder on papertrees, flower blossoms, water, birdsmetaphorically express the themes of death and renewal. Three of the drawings, Spring, Summer, and Winter are mounted on panels, directly referencing historical screen painting traditions. By using gunpowder on paper, the artist reveals the fine balance between the destructive nature of the material and its aesthetic potential when employed in art making…
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian, China. He was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theater Academy from 1981 to 1985. Cai's work is scholarly and often politically charged. Cai initially began working with gunpowder to foster spontaneity and confront the suppressive, controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China. 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," artistically choreographed shows incorporating fireworks and other pyrotechnics. In 1995, he moved to New York with a grant from the New York-based Asian Cultural Council, an international organization to promote artistic exchanges between Asian countries and the United States. Artist's website.
His work is both scholarly and politically charged. Accomplished in a variety of media, Cai began using gunpowder in his work to foster spontaneity and confront the controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China…
Contemporary Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang, known for his elaborate sculpture installations and gunpowder projects, was invited by the Metropolitan Museum to create this site-specific installation for the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, overlooking Central Park with expansive views of the Manhattan skyline…