Cai Guo-Qiang was born in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province of China, and graduated from Department of Stage Design of Shanghai Theater Academy.  Cai went to Japan for further study in 1986, and then moved to New York in 1995.  As he once mentioned about his past works, that it is obvious what he has experienced, upon places and culture, all turned into his creation source.  Take his birthplace for example, Quanzhou provides him with sailing boats, Chinese herbal medicine, Feng Shui, and Chinese lantern, etc.  In addition, his study and working experience of drama and stage design lead to versatility, dramatic effect as well as audience’s participation to his installation works.

Besides from discussing on cultural issues, the universe is another topic that Cai Guo-Qiang interests in.  He has created a series of works on “talking to aliens.” Through large scale of explosion projects, Cai’s gunpowder launched messages to the universe, trying to make conversation with aliens.  These projects often cost a lot, and demand numerous workers.  All efforts, however, are just for a short, shocking explosion.  As a result, Cai often made his explosion draft on paper.  The draft, as Cai’s imagination, may not be exactly executed, but they possess a kind of poetic and romantic atmosphere.  Meanwhile, they hold extensive popularity because they are the few collections suitable for possessing Cai Guo-Qiang’s works.
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