中文
Galleria Continua
San Gimignano
Beijing
Les Moulins
Habana
Roma

B. 1957, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China


Cai Guo-Qiang received a BFA in stage design from the Shanghai Drama Institute in 1985. He resided in Japan from 1986 to 1995, after which he moved to New York, where he has lived and worked ever since.

In 1984 Cai first began experimenting with gunpowder and in 1989 staged the first of his public explosion events, which would become integral to his practice.

He mines gunpowder’s charged identification with China, where it was invented, to create allegorical, sociopolitical commentaries that riff on saltpetre’s associations with ancient medicine, ritual fireworks, and modern violence. By using explosives as pyrotechnical events outdoors or as a medium on paper, Cai recasts a quintessential Chinese material that takes the shape of “burned paintings” that are carefully

manipulated and conducted. In his varied practices and materials, Cai draws freely from ancient mythology, military history, Taoist cosmology, Maoist revolutionary tactics, Buddhist philosophy, pyrotechnic technology, Chinese medicine, and images of terrorist violence.

Cai’s elaborate symbolism coded a metaphysics that would operate in his work over the decades, where disaster and renewal, sickness and healing, and art and war are all revealed as part of the same unstable system.

Impressions of Stage One

2006

gunpowder on paper, backed on wood panel

77 x 230 cm

30,3 x 90,5 inch

unique work

Stage

2006

Site specific project

Against the backdrop of San Gimignano’s medieval towers, a stage stands on the field below an ancient white dirt road once frequented by pilgrims to Rome. 

A theatre of history, civilization and nature plays out on this empty stage within the shifting light of day, night and season.

UMoCA (Under Museum of Contemporary Art):

Everything Is Museum No.2

2001

Permanent museum created in September 2001 under St. Francis Bridge, Colle

di Val d’Elsa, Tuscany

Commissioned by Assoziacione Arte Continua for Arte all’Arte 6

Collection of the City of Colle di Val d’Elsa


"Everything is Museum" is based on the premise that any place, any container can be considered as a museum. In 2001 Cai Guo-Qiang chose the arches of the Ponte di San Francesco as a space where artists can freely get contemporary art to engage with the history and the fabric of working life in the Colle di Val d’elsa area. Positioned prominently above this exhibition venue is the large neon UMoCA sign. It perfectly reflects the spirit of this Arte all’Arte event where the universal language of art combines vigorous old world forms with the sophisticated idioms of contemporary life. UMoCA is the result of a close, long-term and well-consolidated collaboration between the local council and the Associazione Arte Continua. The aim of this ambitious project is to create a link between the past and the future, the East and West, and contemporary art with the tradition craft of crystal. The bridge itself is an ancient symbol that evokes the landscape: a metaphorical connection between the city and the world that draws together different cultures. Together at UMoCA, they explore the rich expressive potential of locally manufactured crystal.



In Color Still, contemporary artist Kiki Smith has imaginatively interpreted the delicate qualities of crystal by modeling the transparent surface into sinuous, curved forms. They are then transformed into elegant illuminating bodies with the assistance and technical expertise of the Consorzio del Cristallo di Colle di Val d’elsa. The result is a fascinating installation that combines fine craftsmanship with artistic originality. It also presents new ideas for the use of the extensive green area around the bridge where, beneath the arches, Kiki’s colourful sculptures of females invite locals and tourists alike to visit this open-air museum.