Contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang (Chinese, b.1957) is renowned for his innovative, politically charged pieces, ranging from installations and performances to works on paper, which incorporate gunpowder and explosions. Cai was born in Quanzhou in the Fujian Province of China, and studied Set Design at the Shanghai Drama Institute and Art at the PS 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. In 1986, he moved to Japan, where he began to use gunpowder in his work as a way of challenging the social and cultural repression of the Chinese Cultural Revolution of previous years. Cai creates site-specific explosions that are both visually arresting and rife with symbolism. In recent work, Cai has dealt with issues of Chinese globalization. Cai has received numerous awards, including the Venice Biennale International Golden Lion Prize, the CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, and the Hiroshima Award. He has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1957
Born in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China
1985
Graduated from the Department of Stage Design, Shanghai Drama Institute, Shanghai, China
1995
Benesse Prize of Transculture Exhibition, 46th Venice Biennial, Italy
1999
The Venice Biennial International Prize-Golden Lion, 48th Venice Biennial, Italy
2001
CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, USA
2005
Inopportune awarded Best Monograph Show and Best Installation, International Association of Art Critics United States Section
2007
Hiroshima Award, Japan

Exhibitions

2013
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Da Vincis do Povo" Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Museu dos Correlos, Brasilia (solo)
2012
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder" Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Spring" Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou (solo)
"Cai Guo Qiang: Beijing Games: Sketches and Video" The Greenhouse, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK (solo)
"A Clan of Boats" Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
"Swept Away: Dust, Ashes, and Dirt in Contemporary Art and Design" Museum of Arts and Design, New York
"Longing for Perfection, 21 Years of COllecting by the Kroller-Muller Museum" Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
"Extra-Large" Forum Grimaldi Monaco
"Dialogues with Contemporary Art from Museum Collection" Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
2011
"Cai Guo-Qiang -- 1040M Underground, IZOLYATSIA" Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Donetsk (solo)
"Move Along, Nothing to See Here" Cohen Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab" Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (solo)
"Water, Fire and the Earth" Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan
"RegressProgress" Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
"Invisibleness is Visibleness: International Contemporary Art Collection of a Salaryman - Daisuke Miyatsu" Agora Art Project x Space, Taipei
"Windflower, Perceptions of Nature" Kroller-Muller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
2010
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant da Vincis" Rockbound Art Museum, Shanghai (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Travels in the Mediterranean" Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice, France (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On" National Museum of Singapore (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Odessey" Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, permanent gunpowder drawing installation in the Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Arts of China Gallery (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Sunshine and Solitude" Museo Universitario Arte Conemporaneo, Mexico City (solo)
"The Beauty of Distance: Song of Survival in a Precarious Age" 17th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
"Alpha Omega" DESTE Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art
"Post Monument" XIV International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara
"Arts and Cities" Aichi Triennale 2010, Nagoya
"Berliner Bilder" Koidl Kunsthalle, Berlin
"Collector's Choice/Collector's Voice" Asian Art Museum, San Francisco
"Nuit Electriques" Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow
2009
"Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe" Guggenheim Bilbao (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum" Taipei Fine Arts Museum (solo)
"Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms" Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Fabric Workshop and Museum (solo)
"Meeting Point" 10th Havana Biennial
"Stages" Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris
Armory, New York, Deitch Projects
"The 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial"
"Bike Rides" Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art
"The Sky Within My House: Contemporary Art in 16 Patios of Cordoba" Municipal Archive of Cordoba
2008
"I Want to Believe" Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York(solo)
"I Want to Believe" National art Museum of China, Beijing (solo)
"The 7th Hiroshima Prize" Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (solo)
"Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art" Barbican Gallery, London
"Blood on Paper: The Art of the Book" Victoria and Albert Museum, London
"God & Goods: Spirituality and Mass Confusion" Villa Mann Centro d'Arte Contemporanea, Cordoipo
"Shu: Reinventing Books in Contemporary Chinese Art" Honolulu Academy of Arts
New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond" Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue Exhibition Series II, Hong Kong Museum of Art
"Academia. Qui es-tu?" La Chapelle de l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris
"Prospect. 1 New Orleans" various sites, New Orleans, USA
2007
Light Passage, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
2007
The Museum's Collections, New Hangings, Musee national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
2006
Captured Wind Arrested Shadow: Cai Guo Qiang and Lin Hwai-min's Wind Shadow, Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2006
Head On, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2006
Curator of Echigo-Tsumari Triennial, DMoCA, Japan (solo)
2005
Curator of Virgin Garden: Emersion, China Pavilion, 51st Biennale Di Venezia, Venice, Italy (solo)
2005
The Wall, Millennium Monument Art Museum, Beijing, China; University at Buffalo Art Galleries, Buffalo, New York, USA
2004
Cai Guo Qiang: Inopportune, MASS MoCA, North Adam, USA (solo)
2004
Curated BMoCA: Bunker Museum of Contemporary Art, Kinmen, Taiwan (solo)
2004
The Snow Show, Rovaniemi, Finland
2004
International Film Festival Rotterdam: Exposing Cinema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2004
26th Bienal Internacional Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2003
Drawing Show, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2003
The Heroic Century: The Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces, 200 Paintings and Sculptures, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX
2003
Alors, la Chine?, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2003
Pulse, Art, Healing, and Transformation, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
2003
Somewhere Better Than This Place, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
2003
Light Cycle: Explosion Project for Central Park, Creative Time, New York, NY (solo)
2003
Ye Gong Hao Long: Explosion Project for Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London, England
2003
Cai Guo-Qiang: An Arbitrary History, S.M.A.K. Ghent, Belgium
2003
Cai Guo-Qiang: For Your Pleasure Matrix 204, University of California Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
2002
Cai Guo-Qiang: Ethereal Flowers, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea Trento, Trento, Italy
2002
Transient Rainbow, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
2002
Cai Guo-Qiang's CHADO Pavilion-Homage to Tenshin Okakura, Hakone Open Air Museum, Hakone, Japan
2002
Ce Qui Arrive, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France
2002
First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2002
Third Biennale de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
2002
The Galleries Show, The Royal Academy of Art, London, England
2002
Transient Rainbow, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (solo)
2002
Cai Guo-Qiang, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (solo)
2001
Mega Wave, Yokohama 2001 International Triennale of Contemporary Art, Yokohama, Japan
2001
Project Refreshing, 49th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2001
An Arbitrary History, Musee d'art Contemporain Lyon, Lyon, France (solo)
2001
Artistic Direction for APEC Cityscape Fireworks, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Shanghai, China (solo)

Public Collections

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, France
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Tate Modern, London, England

Literature

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de