Cai Guo Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City,Fujian Province,China,and graduated from Shanghai Theater Academy in 1985. He had lived in Japan from 1986 to 1995,and currently works and lives in New York. His work has crossed multiple mediums within art,including drawing,installation,video and performance art since his time studying Stage Design at Shanghai Theater Academy. While living in Japan,he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings,and this 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.


Art Shopping Network


Art Shopping Network is Cai’s collaborated project with Taiwanese celebrity, Tsai Kang-yung. Cai was in effect challenging what the value of works of art meant in the commercial market. 66 sets of "Tally of Safety and Fortune" made by antique Shanghai Golden Yuan Bills were sold out through TV auction hosted by Tsai Kang-yung. The whole TV auction process was recorded on video. The work includes the four-sheet of Japanese paper used for explosion, 66 sets of Tally of Safety and Fortune and the recorded video. 
Art Shopping Network succeeded in marketing works of arts through TV channels. The economic capital represented by Golden Yuan Bills and the cultural capital represented by works of art are thus linked in an interesting way.





It epitomized Cai Guo-Qiang's series, "Projects for Extraterrestrials". This project probes into the existence of supernatural power, and presents the connection between human and environment beyond religion and mythology. This work installed the pieces from "Projects for Extraterrestrials" in a ring-shaped space, which brought out the concept the order of the universe. Cai froze the moment the explosion happened on his canvas when he made these pieces, and transformed them into this installation after years. This installation is one of the most important works of "Projects for Extraterrestrials".