Cai Guoqiang

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<p><strong>Cai Guo-Qiang</strong> was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China, and lives and works in New York. He studied stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute from 1981 to 1985 and attended the Institute for Contemporary Art National and International Studio Program at P.S. 1 in New York. 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. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995 he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, leading to the development of his signature explosion events. These projects, while poetic and ambitious at their core, aim to establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe. Since September 11th he has reflected upon his use of explosives both as metaphor and material. &ldquo;Why is it important,&rdquo; he asks, &ldquo;to make these violent explosions beautiful? Because the artist, like an alchemist, has the ability to transform certain energies, using poison against poison, using dirt and getting gold.&rdquo;</p>
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Arts & Culture
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