Cai in October 2010
|Education||Shanghai Theatre Academy|
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China. His father, Cai Ruiqin, was a calligrapher and traditional painter who worked in a bookstore. As a result, Cai Guo-Qiang was exposed early on to Western literature as well as traditional Chinese art forms. As an adolescent, Cai witnessed the social effects of the Cultural Revolution; he grew up in a setting where explosions were common, where “gunpowder [was] used in both good ways and bad, in destruction and reconstruction”.
Cai began painting in the early 1970s; his work turned away from the calligraphic and ink wash disciplines practiced by his father and towards the Western practice of oil and watercolor painting. Cai studied Scenic Design at the Shanghai Theatre Academy between 1982 and 1985. During that same time, he began to experiment with adding gunpowder into his painting compositions “seeking to use the forces of nature to reduce my own control of the canvas.” After moving to Japan in 1986, Cai spent years honing his signature use of gunpowder. Cai’s first solo exhibition to gain significant global attention was Primeval Fireball (1991, P3 art and environment, Tokyo). For most audiences, it was an introduction to Cai’s medium and method; an encompassing presentation of his intermingling of installation art, gunpowder drawing and conceptual performance. The exhibition was Cai’s debut as a mature artist; the installation solidified his reputation as a “gunpowder artist” and laid out his conceptual focus for the next decade by kickstarting his decade-long series Projects for Extraterrestrials. Rather than literally, the term “Extraterrestrials” in this context is used as a challenge to adjust the vision of the world from a Ptolemaic fixation to an inclusive universal mentality - where humans are part of the cosmic landscape. The most notable works in this series include: 45.5 Meteorite Craters Made by Humans on Their 45.5 Hundred Million Year Old Planet: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 3 (1990), Fetus Movement II: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 9 (1992), The Horizon from the Pan-Pacific: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 14 (1994), Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10 (1993), Restrained Violence–Rainbow: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 25 (1995), Dragon Sight Sees Vienna: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 32 (1999).
In 1995, Cai was sponsored by a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to move to the United States, participate in a residency as part of the P.S.1 Studio Program. At P.S.1, he developed The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the 20th Century (1996) and was short listed for The Hugo Boss Prize 1996 for his installation Cry Dragon/Cry Wolf: The Ark of Genghis Khan. He continued to exhibit internationally, participating in The Second and Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (1996, 1999) and winning the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999 for Venice’s Rent Collection Courtyard.
These successes lead to greater recognition in the United States, starting with the realization of How is Your Feng Shui? Year 2000 Project for Manhattan (2000) for the 2000 Whitney Biennial in which Cai offered feng shui remedies to visitors using an interactive computer program. In 2004, Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North was awarded the Best Monograph Show and Best Installation in a Museum by the United States branch of the International Association of Art Critics.
In 2005 he debuted his daytime explosion events with Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Edinburgh and Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Valencia (2005), for which he exploded a black smoke rainbow over each city.
The combined achievement of the touring retrospective exhibition I Want to Believe (2008) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and his appointment as the Director of Visual and Special Effects for the Beijing Olympic Games placed Cai in the spotlight of critical and popular attention. This key point in Cai’s career established him as a global powerhouse for artistic production. That year he was also awarded the 7th Hiroshima Art Prize. Since then his many solo exhibitions and projects include Saraab (2011, Doha), 1040M Underground (2011, Ukraine), Da Vincis do Povo (2013, Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), Falling Back to Earth (2013, Brisane), The Ninth Wave (2014, Shanghai), There and Back Again (2015, Yokohama), My Stories of Painting (2016, Maastricht), The Spirit of Painting (2017, Madrid), Flora Commedia (2018, Florence) and In the Volcano (2019, Naples).
Cai is one of six artist-curators who made selections for Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection, on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from May 24, 2019 through January 12, 2020.
Cai Guo-Qiang’s work crosses multiple mediums including drawing, installation, explosion event, and performance. Drawing upon Eastern philosophy and contemporary social issues as a conceptual basis, his artworks respond to culture and history and establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe around them. His explosion art and installations are imbued with a force that transcends the two-dimensional plane to engage with society and nature. Cai's practice draws on a variety of symbols, narratives, traditions and materials including fengshui, Chinese medicine, shanshui paintings, science, flora and fauna, portraiture, and fireworks. Cai is among the first artists to contribute to discussions of Chinese art as a viable intellectual narrative with its own historical context and theoretical framework.
Gunpowder drawings / paintings
Primeval Fireball: The Project for Projects, 1991.
First realized at p3 art and environment, Tokyo. Seven gunpowder drawings. Gunpowder on paper, mounted on wood as folding screens. These gunpowder drawings are, from left to the right, front to the back: Fetus Movement II: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 9 (1991), Rebuilding the Berlin Wall: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 7 (1991), Inverted Pyramid on the Moon: Project for Humankind No. 3 (1991), Reviving the Ancient Signal Towers: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 8 (1990), A Certain Lunar Eclipse: Project for Humankind No. 2 (1991), The Vague Border at the Edge of Time/Space Project (1991) and Bigfoot's Footprints: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 6 (1990). Installation dimensions variable. Collection of the artist and various private and public collections
The installation, Primeval Fireball: The Project for Projects featured seven large scale gunpowder and ink on paper drawings that outlined hypothetical explosion projects. These gunpowder drawings are: Fetus Movement II: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 9 (1991), Rebuilding the Berlin Wall: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 7 (1991), Inverted Pyramid on the Moon: Project for Humankind No. 3 (1991), Reviving the Ancient Signal Towers: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 8 (1990), A Certain Lunar Eclipse: Project for Humankind No. 2 (1991), The Vague Border at the Edge of Time/Space Project (1991) and Bigfoot's Footprints: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 6 (1990). Each project proposed vast ignitions that would form colossal monuments to transcend spatial or spiritual barriers. To date, only two of the explosion projects has been realized: Fetus Movement II: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 9 (1992) and Footprints of History: Fireworks Project for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (2008) was realized as part of the Beijing Olympics. Drawings on Pleats Please Garments for Issey Miyake Fashion Show, 1998.
Gunpowder on Pleats Please garments, 63 pieces. Issey Miyake Collection
In 1998, Cai collaborated with Issey Miyake to create Dragon: Explosion on Pleats Please Issey Miyake, realized at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris on October 5. Cai ignited 63 garments from Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please; the serpentine explosion seared abstract “dragons” into each piece. After debuting in on the catwalk, the garments exhibited at Fondation Cartier before travelling to New York and Tokyo as part of the exhibition Issey Miyake Making Things. Unmanned Nature: Project for the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008
Gunpowder on paper and water pond, 400 x 4500 cm. Collection of the artist
Unmanned Nature is an unpopulated landscape depicted on a curved drawing surrounding a reflective pool of water. It pays homage to traditional ink wash paintings; a subtitle on the signature refers to the fourteenth century ink wash painting Dwelling in the Fu-ch’un Mountains by Huang Kung-Wang (1269 – 1354). His largest drawing to date, Unmanned Nature was created for The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize: Cai Guo-Qiang (2008). Cai depicted “an overwhelming nature that has existed before the dawn of humankind and that will continue to exist after our extinction.” Day and Night, 2009
Gunpowder on paper, 300 x 3200 cm. Collection of the artist.
Executed for Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum (2009) at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Day and Night is a scroll painting that tells the story of the dancer’s emotional journey from day to night. A dancer was positioned behind a screen of vertically hung paper sheets with her backlit movements projected onto the paper for Cai to sketch. Each iteration of the model’s body is surrounded by a garden of plants and flowers that enhance the shape reflected in the model’s movements. Scholar Wang Hui described the aim of this work as an attempt “to pin down—with the alchemy of gunpowder on paper—that eternal spiritual search of ‘asceticism and quietude’ that the movement of the human body suggests.” Here Wang Hui invokes an austerity and stillness that is not usually associated with Cai’s gunpowder work. Seasons of Life, 2015
Gunpowder on canvas, Dimensions variable. Spring, Summer & Winter: 259 x 648 cm; Fall: 259 x 810 cm. Private Collection.
Seasons of Life is Cai’s first gunpowder work to be created using color gunpowder and canvas in almost 30 years. The installation is composed of a series of 4 canvases, each dedicated to a season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. The central motif was derived from shunga, erotic illustrations from the Japanese Edo period; pairs of men and women making love surrounded by seasonal plants and birds. Spring begins with cherry blossoms, winter jasmine, camellia and swallows; Summer is rich with iris, lily, peony and cuckoos; Fall turns to morning glory, chrysanthemum, pampas grass and geese; culminating in Winter’s plum blossoms, polyanthus, pine, cranes and whiteeyes. the Winter panel. From Spring to Winter, the pairs undergo a transformation from youth to age. Their bodies are decorated by tattoos derived from hanafuda, or Japanese playing cards, that mirror the surrounding plants and animals; glorifying the cyclical seasons of life. Heaven Complex No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, 2017
Gunpowder on canvas, 300 x 750 cm. Collection of the artist.
Created for the 2017 BBC series Civilisations (a re-envisioning of the 1969 program presented by Kenneth Clark), Heaven Complex depicts an idyllic garden filled with gigantic blooms of carnations, peonies and über-pansies. The work consists of two phases: a color gunpowder ignition and a black gunpowder ignition. The first ignition created a vibrant scene that was then darkened by the second. During this second ignition, the colorful canvas was covered by a second set of canvases, to create a monochromatic abstract ”ghost” of the garden. Spirit of Painting, 2017
Gunpowder on canvas, 300 x 1800 cm. Commissioned by Museo Nacional del Prado. Collection of the artist.
Cai’s residency at the Museo Nacional del Prado for the exhibition The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado, culminated in the production of the gunpowder painting The Spirit of Painting, a chronicle of Cai’s stylistic engagement with the Old Masters. The sprawling work was divided into five sections dedicated (from left to right) to Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya; each one focusing on an artwork from the Prado’s Collection.
Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10, 1993
Realized at the Gobi desert, west of the Great Wall, Jiayuguan, Gansu Province, February 27, 1993, 7:35 p.m., 15 minutes. Gunpowder (600 kg) and two fuse lines (10,000 m each). Explosion length: 10,000 m. Commissioned by P3 art and environment, Tokyo [Ephemeral]
One Cai’s most seminal explosion events from his series Projects for Extraterrestrials, Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10 was realized on February 27, 1993 through the support of P3 art and environment, Tokyo. For this explosion event, Cai ran 10,000 meters of fuse into the Gobi Desert, west of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan, Gansu Province. Small charges were placed every 3 meters and larger charges (60 kg each) were placed every 1,000 meters, mimicking the placement of ancient signal towers.The explosion event is the first example of Cai’s ability to inspire and organize large numbers of volunteers to realize a monumental artwork. To offset costs, he worked with a Japanese travel agency to organize a group of Japanese tourists, who paid to attend the event and, along with local volunteers, helped lay the fuse lines.
The explosion event accompanied the solo exhibition Long Mai: The Dragon Meridian at P3 art and environment, Tokyo.
The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the 20th Century, 1996
Realized at various sites that include Nuclear Test Site, Nevada; at Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969–70), Mormon Mesa, Overton, Nevada; at Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) Salt Lake, Utah; and at various sites looking toward Manhattan, New York, February - April, approximately 3 seconds each. Gunpowder (10g) and cardboard tubes. Dimensions variable. [Ephemeral]
Cai’s first major project after moving to the United States was The Century with Mushroom Clouds: Project for the 20th Century—a series of hand-held detonations executed in New York and Nevada. Cai deployed 10 grams of gunpowder in cardboard rolls to create mushroomoid smoke clouds at key points relating to the Manhattan project to re-enact and commemorate the atomic ignitions in the 20th Century. The ignitions were realized between February–April, 1996 at the Nuclear Test Site, Nevada; at Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969–70), Mormon Mesa, Overton, Nevada; at Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) Salt Lake, Utah; and at various sites looking toward Manhattan, New York.
The work was executed in anonymity and using guerrilla tactics; Cai did not obtain any official permission and was often forced to flee authorities to avoid explaining the performance. The constrained ignitions rival the “extravagant, highly theatrical performances of expenditure” that characterize the spectacle of his other explosion events. The simple recycled material used to cobble together the miniature simulated atomic clouds are resourceful, low-budget and executed personally by Cai. For each ignition, Cai was accompanied by a photographer or videographer to preserve the action of these ephemeral events. The resulting photographs are among Cai’s most recognizable works.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cityscape Fireworks, 2001
Realized at The Bund, Huangpu River, and Oriental Pearl TV tower, Shanghai, October 20, 2001, 9:00 p.m., Approximately 20 minutes Fireworks (200,000 shots of explosive). Explosion dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation [Ephemeral]
On October 20, 2001, Cai realized the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Cityscape Fireworks for the closing ceremonies of the APEC conference. Using 200,000 fireworks, 10 barges, 18 yachts, and 23 buildings along the Bund, the 20-minute pyrotechnic performance was unprecedented in scale and spectacle, not only in China but globally.
For his solo exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang (2002), Cai created a series of 14 gunpowder drawings, Drawings for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, that commemorated the successful explosion events by capturing key moments from the display.
Fireworks Project for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2008
Realized in Beijing,, August 8, 2008, 8:00 pm, Fireworks. Commissioned by The International Olympic Committee and The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad [Ephemeral]
As Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Cai designed the fireworks for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These events included the iconic Five Olympic Rings, Lighting of the Olympic Cauldron and Footprints of History, in which 29 giant footprints appeared in the sky along the central axis of Beijing, to symbolize the 29 Olympiads. This portion of the event fostered an immediate controversy, as to ensure the quality of the live broadcast, pre-shot footage that had been “cleaned” using computer graphics was inserted. The opening event was broadcast to a global television audience of four billion. Black Ceremony, 2011
Realized outside Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, December 5, 2011, 3:00 pm, approximately 3 minutes, 8,300 smoke shells fitted with computer chips. Commissioned by Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art [Ephemeral]
Black Ceremony was a landmark daytime explosion event realized outside Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha on December 5, 2011. Using 8,300 PixelBurstTM (smoke shells fitted with computer chips), Cai constructed enormous shapes in the sky – most notable a black pyramid and a seven-color rainbow. The work’s theme was death; it was a spiritual funeral for those Arab people who had died far away from home. Black Ceremony was a stylistic and technical departure from Cai’s previous daytime explosion events. Previous events (Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Edinburgh and Black Rainbow: Explosion Project for Valencia (2005) and Clear Sky Black Cloud (2006)) only used black smoke and traditional detonation. Black Ceremony not only included colored smoke, but the computer chip-based shells allowed for unprecedented precision in the creation of complex shapes. Sky Ladder, 2015
Realized off Huiyu Island, Quanzhou, June 15, 4:45 am (dawn), 100 seconds. Gunpowder, fuse and helium balloon, 500 x 5.5 m. [Ephemeral]
After 21 years and 4 attempts, Sky Ladder was finally realized on June 15 off Huiyu Island, Quanzhou. Cai had previously attempted the explosion event in Bath (1994), Shanghai (2001), and Los Angeles (2012). The ladder was constructed from a flexible metal base in 5 x5 meter segments covered in strings of fireworks, suspended in the air with a helium balloon. The ladder “allows [Cai] to have an eternal dialogue with the universe, so infinitely far, yet so close.”
The execution of this 500-meter ladder was the subject of the Netflix documentary Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald. The documentary told the story of Cai’s rise to global success through interviews with the artist, family, friends, colleagues, and critics.
City of Flowers, 2018
Realized above Piazzale Michelangelo, November 18, 3:50 pm, approximately 13 minutes 30 seconds. Fireworks, 170 meters tall. [Ephemeral]
Using the blue skies of Florence as his canvas, Cai created an explosive tableau of Renaissance flowers on November 18, 2018. Inspired by Botticelli's Primavera, 50,000 custom-made fireworks released smoke to form thousands of flowers. The explosion lasted about 10 minutes on Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the city. The spectacle introduced Cai's solo exhibition, Flora Commedia: Cai Quo-Qiang at the Uffizi.
Bringing to Venice What Marco Polo Forgot, 1995
Realized at Palazzo Giustinian Lolin and Grand Canal. Installation incorporating wooden fishing boat from Quanzhou, Chinese herbs, ginseng (100 kg), utensils to prepare and drink herbal beverages, and other artworks by the artist as components. Boat: 700 x 950 x 180 cm. Commissioned by the 46th Venice Biennale, Italy, 1995. Museo Navale di Venezia (fishing boat), private collections (other components)
For his first participation in the 46th Venice Biennale, Cai piloted a Quanzhou fishing boat from Piazza San Marco down the Canale Grande to the pier of the Palazzo. The work commemorated the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s return to Venice from Quanzhou: “Marco Polo brought back to the West many new and rare things and interesting stories. But he did not bring back the important spirit, the Eastern view of the cosmos and of life. By using Chinese medicine as one of the symbols of this spirit, I will bring the things that Marco Polo could not.”
The boat remained docked at the pier for the duration of the exhibition, while within the Palazzo’s hall, five types of bottled herbal medicine were sold from a vending machine, each keyed to one of the five traditional Chinese elements of nature and life: water, wood, metal, fire, and earth. Notes on the wall from a specialist in Eastern medicine explained how each of the herbal mixes, with their five tastes (salty, sour, hot, bitter and sweet) related to the body’s organs (kidney, liver, lung, heart and spleen).
Rent Collection Courtyard, 1999
108 life-sized sculptures created on site by Long Xu Li and nine guest artisan sculptors, 60 tons of clay, wire and wood armature. Commissioned by the 48th Venice Biennale. [Artwork Not Extant]
Venice’s Rent Collection Courtyard (1999, Deposito Polveri, Arsenale, Venice) earned Cai the Golden Lion award at the 48th Venice Biennale and drew international critical attention and controversy for its reinterpretation of the 1965 Social Realist sculptural group Rent Collection Courtyard, executed by sculptors from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. The 108 life-sized sculptures were created on-site by nine guest artisan sculptors and Long Xu Li, one of the original sculptors of the 1965 series. The figures were produced over several weeks preceding the exhibition opening, and completed during the ten days of the exhibition so that the opening audience would witness the sculptors at work. The gradual drying process of the unfired clay left the works first cracked then falling apart; the disintegration enhancing the experience of the figures who are both enacting and undergoing the violent destruction of oppression. Cai’s recreation of the sculpture group was hailed as both a challenging and self-reflective examination of nationhood and as a base imitation of a highly regarded national icon.  Inopportune: Stage One, 2004
Nine cars and sequenced multichannel light tubes. Dimensions variable. Collection of the artist
Inopportune: Stage One is a monumental installation created for Cai’s first major solo exhibition in the United States, Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune at the MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in 2004. Inopportune: Stage One is a series of nine white cars with sequenced multi-channel light tube that simulate the spiraling of an exploding car. Its initial installation at MASS MoCA mimicked the horizontal form of a Chinese scroll painting, but future configurations varied from vertical to circular, most iconically for the 2008 Solomon R Guggenheim Museum retrospective exhibition I Want to Believe in New York. Head On, 2004
99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall. Wolves: gauze, resin, and hide. Dimensions variable. Commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG. Deutsche Bank Collection
Head On was first realized for the Deutsche Guggenheim exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On (2006, Berlin). Head On is not only one of Cai’s most recognizable artworks, it is also his most exhibited. The installation consists of 99 life-sized replicas of wolves cyclically crashing into a glass wall. The wolves are constructed from papier-mâché, plaster, fiberglass, resin, and painted hide. The height and thickness of the glass wall were copied from the measurements of the Berlin Wall. Its installation is accompanied by the video artwork Illusion II; a two-channel video installation that documents the explosion event realized for the same exhibition.
Head On presents a “wall in the head”—its transparency making the wall more physically felt by the viewer. The work represents “society’s tendency to search only for the obvious, missing instead what may not be immediately evident but ultimately more dangerous.”
99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism. Dimensions variable. Commissioned by funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection of Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
During a site visit to the Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island, Cai had a transcendent experience in which he had a vision of what would later be developed into the installation Heritage. Heritage is an installation consisting of 99 life-size replicas of animals from all continents and climates standing in white sand haphazardly around a clear pool of water. The animals gathered around Heritage emulate the diverse cultures and races present on earth. Each life-like animal was sculpted out of Styrofoam and covered in animal pelts with glass eyes and sculpted tongues. At the centre of the pool, a mechanism releases a drop of water into the pool.
Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky, 2003.
Realized at Siwa Oasis, Egyptian Sahara desert. In collaboration with over 600 schoolchildren from 40 schools throughout the governate of Marsha Matruh, November 11–14, 2003. Silk and bamboo handmade kites and paint. Commissioned by Siwa Art Project, Egypt. Collection of the artist [Ephemeral].
In November 2003, Cai realized the performance event Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky in the Siwa Oasis, Egyptian Sahara desert. In collaboration with over 600 schoolchildren from 40 schools, they painted and flew 300 silk and bamboo handmade kites shaped as men, eagles and eyes. Later that year, Cai executed a series of 12 gunpowder on paper drawings, mounted on wooden panels as screens, that played on these motifs and the theme of flying kites. These gunpowder drawings were among Cai’s first representative gunpowder drawings that explored the use of light and shade through the capturing of smoke with glassine paper.
DMoCA (Dragon Museum of Contemporary Art): Everything is Museum, 2000 -
Dehua kiln (dated 1956) transported and reconstructed on site, 2.5 x 2.5 x 35 m. Commissioned by Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2000, Niigata Prefecture.
DMoCA is the first in Cai’s Everything is Museum series that establishes museums in unusual or deserted places. For the first iteration, a 'dragon' kiln was relocated from Dehua, China to Niigata, Japan for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2000. For each following Triennial, Cai has invited a contemporary artist to construct an artwork using the DMoCA kiln as a site-specific inspiration: Kiki Smith, Pause (2003); Kōtarō Miyanaga, Range (2006); Jennifer Wen Ma, You Can’t always See Where You are Going, But Can You See Where You’ve Been (2009); Ann Hamilton, air for everyone (2012); Thrown Rope for Japan, Peter Hutchinson (2015); Wang Sishun, Flower of Happiness (2018).
Peasant da Vincis, 2013 -
Cai’s curated project Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant da Vincis is a series of exhibitions that feature the work of Chinese peasant inventors: artisanal aircraft, submarines, and robots. The product of over a decade of research, the exhibition showcases the peasants’ courage and individual creativity, by exploring their contributions to China’s urbanization and modernity. In 2013, the exhibition toured throughout Brazil, showing in Brasília, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro; it was the most visited contemporary art exhibition by a living artist that year. In 2015, Peasant da Vincis travelled to Milan’s National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, home to many of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions. Its corresponding children’s program Children da Vincis (in which children create their own inventions from everyday recyclable objects) was highlighted in Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture, where a nine-story bamboo pagoda, decorated with hundreds of the children’s creations, was erected inside the Kyoto Municipal Museum.
Grants and Awards: 
- Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France, 1993
- Benesse Prize in conjunction with TransCulture, 46th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 1995
- Japan Cultural Design Prize, Tokyo, Japan, 1995
- P.S.1 The Institute for Contemporary Art: National and International Studio Program, Asian Cultural Council Grant, New York, USA, 1995–1996
- Oribe Award, Gifu, Japan, 1997
- Golden Lion, 48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 1999
- CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, Valencia, USA, 2001
- Best Monographic Museum Show (for Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune) and Best Installation or Single Work in a Museum (for Inopportune: Stage One),
- International Association of Art Critics, United States Section, New England Chapter, 2005
- Hiroshima Art Prize, Hiroshima City Culture Foundation, Hiroshima, Japan, 2007
- 20th Fukuoka Prize for Arts and Culture, Fukuoka, Japan, 2009
- First Place for Best Project in a Public Space (for Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms), AICA, 2010
- 24th Praemium Imperiale – Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (Painting), Tokyo, Japan, 2012
- U.S. Department of State ~ Medal of Arts, Washington, D.C., 2012
- Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation Award, 2015
- Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art (BACA), Maastricht, The Netherlands, 2016
- Asia Arts Award Honoree, Asia Society’s Asia Arts Game Changers, Hong Kong, 2016
- The Japan Foundation Awards, Tokyo, Japan, 2016
- Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, US, 2018
- Core member of the creative team and Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
- Director of fireworks festivities for China’s 60th National Day, Beijing, 2009
- Fireworks Artistic Director, Republic of China Centennial, 2010
- Core member of the creative team, Taipei International Flora Exposition, 2010
The artist moved from Beijing to New York in 1995, but as of 2017, continues to maintain a separate house in the former. In the mid-2010s, he made his gunpowder paintings in a Long Island fireworks factory. His Manhattan studio was renovated by Rem Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Guo-Qiang intends for it to eventually become a foundation with public viewing. He sought a property, unlike his prior studios, where he would both work and live with his family, fulfilling a goal to combine his personal and professional lives.
Guo-Qiang purchased a former horse farm in Chester, New Jersey, in 2011 from an Olympic equestrian. The property was redesigned by architect Frank Gehry and his former student Trattie Davies. They converted the barn into a 14,000-square-foot studio, the stables into archives, and its hayloft into an exhibition space. Guo-Qiang had met Gehry in 2009 at Guo-Qiang's Guggenheim Bilbao solo show, and their friendship included a 2013 trip to Guo-Qiang's hometown of Quanzhou to propose a contemporary art museum. The two began work on Guo-Qiang's Chester property soon after he purchased it. The 9,700-square-foot house is built outward from the original, stone core structure in glass and sequoia. At Guo-Qiang's request, the titanium roofing curls at their edges, like flying carpets. The house has multiple small balconies. The artist lives in the Chester house with his wife and two daughters. He wears his hair short, like a drill sergeant.
Selected solo exhibitions
- Office of The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, Tokyo, Cai Guo-Qiang’s Painting, May 18–June 16, 1987.
- Kigoma , Tokyo, Cai Guo-Qiang: Gunpowder Art, August 9–21, 1987.
- Kigoma, Tokyo, Explosions and Space Holes: Cai Guo-Qiang, March 5–17, 1989.
- Osaka Contemporary Art Center, Cai Guo Qiang: Works 1988/89, February 5–10, 1990.
- P3 art and environment, Tokyo, Primeval Fireball: The Project for Projects, February 26–April 20, 1991. Exh. cat.
- IBM-Kawasaki City Gallery, Wailing Wall-From the Engine of Four Hundred Cars, October 15–26, 1992. Exh. cat.
- P3 art and environment, Tokyo, Long Mai: The Dragon Meridian, January 22–March 20, 1993.
- Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum (Bennesse House, Naoshima), Cai Guo-Qiang, April—July, 1993.
- Gallery APA, Nagoya, Cai Guo-Qiang: Calendar of Life, January 7–30, 1994. Exh. cat.
- Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Chaos: Cai Guo-Qiang, September 20–November 3, 1994. Exh. cat.
- Tokyo Gallery, Cai Guo-Qiang: Concerning Flame, May 9–28, 1994.
- Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima, Cai Guo-Qiang: From the Pan-Pacific, March 6–31, 1994. Exh. cat.
- Queens Museum of Art, New York, Cai Guo-Qiang: Cultural Melting Bath: Projects for the 20th Century, August 1–October 26, 1997. Exh. cat.
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Cai Guo-Qiang: Flying Dragon in the Heavens, March 8–April 27, 1997. Exh. cat.
- Eslite Gallery (Cherng Piin) , Taipei, Day Dreaming: Cai Guo-Qiang, May 30–June 21, 1998. Exh. cat.
- Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Cai Guo-Qiang: I Am the Y2K Bug, November 4, 1999–February 27, 2000. Exh. cat.
- Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, Cai Guo-Qiang, April 5–May 28, 2000. Exh. cat.
- Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, Cai Guo-Qiang: An Arbitrary History, October 31, 2001–January 6, 2002. Exh. cat. Traveled to S.M.A.K. (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst), Ghent, March 29–June 1, 2003.
- Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, Cai Guo-Qiang: Impression Oil Drawings, August 3–September 23, 2001.
- Contemporary Art Gallery and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver, Cai Guo-Qiang: Performing Chinese Ink Painting, July 28–September 23, 2001.
- Gallery Iwaki, Cai Guo-Qiang: Iwaki Ninety-Nine Pagodas, August 18–28, 2001. Exh. cat.
- Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, Cai Guo-Qiang, February 1–March 1, 2002. Exh. cat.
- Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Trento, Cai Guo-Qiang: Ethereal Flowers, September 7–November 24, 2002. Exh. cat.
- Hakone Open-Air Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang's CHADO Pavilion-Homage to Tenshin Okakura, May 25–September 23, 2002. Exh. cat.
- Asia Society Museum, New York, Cai Guo-Qiang - An Explosion Event: Light Cycle Over Central Park, September 9–December 14, 2003. Exh. cat.
- MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), North Adams, MA, Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune, December 11, 2004–October 30, 2005. Exh. cat.
- Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Cai Guo-Qiang: Traveler, October 30, 2004–April 24, 2005.
- Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, Cai Guo-Qiang: Life Beneath the Shadow, July 30–September 25, 2005. Exh. cat.
- Institut Valenciá d'Art Modern, Valencia, Cai Guo-Qiang: On Black Fireworks, May 20–June 12, 2005. Exh. cat.
- Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Cai Guo-Qiang: Paradise, June 17–August 28, 2005. Exh. cat.
- SITE Santa Fe (organized by MASS MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams), Santa Fe, NM, Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune, January 21–March 26, 2006.
- Deutsche Guggenheim (organized by the Deutsche Bank Collection), Berlin, Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On, August 26–October 15, 2006. Exh. cat.
- Shawinigan Space (organized in collaboration with National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), North Adams), Cai Guo-Qiang: Long Scroll, June 10–October 1, 2006. Exh. cat.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument, April 25–October 29, 2006. Exh. cat.
- San Gimignano Mountain and Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Cai Guo-Qiang: Stage, March 25–April 29, 2006.
- Eslite Gallery (Cherng Piin), Taipei, Captured Wind Arrested Shadow: Cai Guo-Qiang and Lin Hwai-min’s Wind Shadow, November 22–December 10, 2006. Exh. cat.
- Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Light Passage - Cai Guo-Qiang & Shiseido, June 23–August 12, 2007. Exh. cat.
- Seattle Art Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune: Stage One, Semi-permanent installation, opened May 5, 2007.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, February 22–May 28, 2008. Exh. cat.
- Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize: Cai Guo-Qiang, October 25, 2008–January 12, 2009. Exh. cat.
- Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum, November 21, 2009–February 21, 2010. Exh. cat.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms, December 11, 2009–March 21, 2010. Exh. cat.
- Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant Da Vincis, May 4–July 25, 2010. Exh. cat.
- Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, Cai Guo-Qiang: Travels in the Mediterranean, June 11, 2010–January 9, 2011. Exh. cat.
- National Museum of Singapore (organized by Deutsche Bank Collection), Cai Guo-Qiang: Head On, July 2–August 31, 2010.
- Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Cai Guo-Qiang: Sunshine and Solitude, December 1, 2010–March 27, 2011. Exh. cat.
- Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab, December 5, 2011–May 26, 2012. Exh. cat.
- Brown University Cohen Gallery, Providence, Move Along, Nothing to See Here, September 14–October 28, 2011.
- IZOLYATSIA. Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Donetsk, Cai Guo-Qiang – 1040M Underground, August 27–November 13, 2011.
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder, April 8–September 3, 2012. Exh. cat.
- Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, Cai Guo-Qiang: Spring, April 20–June 3, 2012. Exh. cat.
- Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, A Clan of Boats, September 6–December 7, 2012. Exh. cat.
- Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Museu dos Correios, Brasilia, Cai Guo-Qiang: Da Vincis do Povo, February 5–March 31, 2013. Exh. cat. Traveled to Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Prédio Histórico dos Correios, São Paulo, April 21–June 30, and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Centro Cultural Correios, Rio de Janeiro, August 6–September 22.
- Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Falling Back to Earth, November 23, 2013–May 12, 2014. Exh. cat.
- Power Station of Art, Shanghai, Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, August 8–October 26, 2014. Exh. cat.
- Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, Cai Guo-Qiang: Impromptu, December 14, 2014–March 8, 2015. Exh. cat.
- Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, Cai Guo-Qiang: Unmanned Nature, February 14–June 21, 2015.
- Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Milan, Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant da Vincis, September 9, 2015–January 6, 2016.
- Satoyama Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokamachi, Niigata, Cai Guo-Qiang: Penglai / Hōrai, July 25–September 13, 2015. Exh. cat.
- Yokohama Museum of Art, Cai Guo-Qiang: There and Back Again, July 11–October 18, 2015. Exh. cat.
- Museo Orgánico Romerillo, Havana, GMoCA (Green Museum of Contemporary Art), May 22–June 22, 2015.
- Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting, September 30, 2016–May 1, 2017. Exh. cat.
- Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Cai Guo-Qiang: October, September 13–November 12, 2017. Exh. cat.
- Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid, The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado, October 25, 2017–March 4, 2018.
- The Uffizi Galleries, Florence, Flora Commedia: Cai Guo-Qiang at the Uffizi, November 20, 2018–February 17, 2019. Exh. cat.
- National Archaeological Museum of Naples, In the Volcano: Cai Guo-Qiang and Pompeii, February 23–May 20, 2019. Exh. cat.
- Flora Commedia: Cai Guo-Qiang at the Uffizi. Florence: Giunti Editore S.p.A., 2018. Editions in English, Italian, and Chinese. ISBN 978-88-0987-508-1
- The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado. Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado Difusión, 2017. Editions in English, Spanish, and Chinese. ISBN 978-84-8480-402-4
- Cai Guo Qiang, and P3 Art and environment. Kanesaka Rumiko, ed. Cai Guo-Qiang: Primeval Fireball. The Project for Projects. Tokyo: P3 Art and environment, 1991.
- Szeemann, Harald and Cecilia Liveriero Lavelli. La Biennale di Venezia 48 Esposizione Inernazional d’arte, pp. 124-127, 362. Venice: La Biennale di Venezia, 1999.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: An Arbitrary History. Lyon: Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon and Milan: 5 Continents Editions srl, 2002. ISBN 88-7439-012-2
- Dana Friis-Hansen, Octavio Zaya, Serizawa Takashi, Cai Guo-Qiang, Phaidon, London, 2002. ISBN 9780714840758
- Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune. Wilmington: MASS MoCA, 2005. ISBN 0-9764276-1-3
- Tinterow, Gary and David A. Ross. Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument. Milan: Charta, 2006. ISBN 88-8158-617-7
- Krens, Thomas, Alexandra Munroe, David Joselit, Miwon Kwon, and Wang Hui. Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe. New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2008. Editions in English, Spanish, and Chinese. ISBN 978-0-89207-371-9
- Yukie Kamita, et al. Cai Guo-Qiang: The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize. Vol. 1 & 2. Hiroshima: Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008. ISBN 978-4-939105-20-3 (Vol 1) ISBN 978-4-939105-19-7 (Vol 2)
- Cai Guo-Qiang: Peasant Da Vincis. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-7-5633-9820-1
- Yuko Hasegawa. Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab. Italy: Skira Editore S.p.A., 2012. ISBN 978-88-572-1331-6
- Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeffrey Deitch, and Rebecca Morse. Cai Guo-Qiang: Ladder to the Sky. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2012. ISBN 978-3-7913-5242-8
- Antonio Goncalves Filho, Lilian Tone, Joshua Decter, and Marcello Dantas. Cai Guo-Qiang: Da Vincis Do Povo. Shenzhen: Artron Culture Group, 2013. ISBN 9788560169122
- Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting. Maastricht: Bonnefantenmuseum, 2016. Editions in English and Dutch. ISBN 978-3-96098-040-7
- Cai Guo-Qiang, ed. What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China. Cuilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2016. ISBN 9787549579341
- Cai Guo-Qiang: October. Moscow: ABCdesign, 2017. ISBN 9785433000780
Articles and essays:
- Cai Guo-Qiang with You Jindong. “Painting with Gunpowder.” Leonardo (Cambridge, MA) 21, no. 3 (1988), pp. 251–54.
- Friis-Hansen, Dana. “Cai Guo-Qiang at the Iwaki City Art Museum.” Art in America (New York) 82, no. 11 (Nov. 1994), p. 144. In English.
- Schwabsky, Barry. “Tao and Physics: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang.” Artforum International (New York) 35, no. 10 (Summer 1997), pp. 118–121, 155.
- Dal Lago, Francesca. “Open and Everywhere: Chinese Artists at the Venice Biennale.” ArtAsiaPacific (Sydney) 25 (2000), pp. 24–26.
- Heartney, Eleanor. “Cai Guo-Qiang: Illuminating the New China.” Art in America (New York) 5 (May 2002), pp. 92–97, cover.
- Cotter, Holland. “Public Art Both Violent and Gorgeous.” The New York Times (New York) (Sept. 14, 2003), Arts & Leisure, section 2, pp. 1, 33.
- Cohn, Don. “Cai Guo-Qiang: The Art of War.”ArtAsiaPacific (New York) 57 (Mar./Apr. 2008), pp. 98–105.
- Schjeldahl, Peter. “Gunpowder Plots.” The New Yorker (New York) 84, no. 2 (Feb. 25, 2008), The Art World, pp. 82–85.
- Tufnell, Ben. “Atomic Tourism and False Memories: Cai Guo-Qiang’s The Century with Mushroom Clouds.” Tate Papers (London) no. 17, May 11, 2012.
- Pollack, Barbara. “As Seen Here: Views of Chinese Contemporary Art in the U.S.” Leap Magazine (Guangzhou) (Feb. 2014), pp. 122-131.
- Wolfe Alexandra. “Cai Guo-Qiang on the State of Contemporary Chinese Art.” The Wall Street Journal. Apr. 24, 2015.
- Pollack, Barbara. "Redefining China’s Artists. In Qatar.” The New York Times, Mar. 20, 2016, p. AR23.
- Gotthardt, Alexxa. “Explosives Artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Story Comes to Netflix.” Artsy, Oct. 10, 2016. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-explosives-artist-cai-guo-qiang-s-story-comes-to-netflix.
- Blàvia, Marta. “Cai Guo-Qiang: A lifelong Journey into the Spirit of Painting.” Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Taipei) vol. 17, No. 3 (May/June 2018), pp. 34-47. In English.
- Friis-Hansen, Zaya, Serizawa, Dana, Octavio, Takashi (2002). Cai Guo-Qiang.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Fei Dawei, ed., Cai Guo-Qiang, (London: Thames & Hudson and Paris: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, 2000), 122.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting, (Maastricht: Bonnefantenmuseum, 2016), 78.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum, (Taipei: Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2009), 278.
- Cai Guo Qiang, and P3 Art and environment. Kanesaka Rumiko, ed. Cai Guo-Qiang: Primeval Fireball. The Project for Projects, (Tokyo: P3 Art and environment, 1991), unpaginated.
- Thomas Krens, et al., Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2008), 297.
- "Cai Guo-Qiang website - CV".
- Smith, Roberta (June 27, 2019). "The Guggenheim's Collection, as Seen by Six Art Stars". The New York Times.
- https://caiguoqiang.com/about-the-artist/. Missing or empty
- "The artist who 'paints' with explosives". CNN Style. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
- Alexandra Munroe. Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, Exhibition Catalogue, pp.20-41. 2008. Guggenheim Museum Publications. 
- Cai Guo Qiang, and P3 Art and environment. Kanesaka Rumiko, ed. Cai Guo-Qiang: Primeval Fireball. The Project for Projects. Tokyo: P3 Art and environment, 1991.
- Issey Miyake: Making Things, pp. 52–53, 94–99, 170. Paris: Fondation Cartier and Actes Sud, 2000.
- Yukie Kamita, et al, The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize: Cai Guo-Qiang. Vol. 1 & 2 (Hiroshima: Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008), 32.
- Wang Hui, “The Dialectics of Art and the Event,” in Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, Alexandra Munroe (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), 55.
- Cai Guo-Qiang, Eriko Osaka, Eriko Kimura, Hideko Numata, Naoaki Nakamura,Cai Guo-Qiang: There and Back Again, (Yokohama: Mochuisle, Inc., 2015), 38.
- Flora Commedia: Cai Guo-Qiang at the Uffizi, (Florence: Giunti Editore S.p.A., 2018), 47-49.
- The Spirit of Painting. Cai Guo-Qiang at the Prado. Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado Difusión, 2017.
- Thomas Krens, et al., Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2008), 142.
- Orville Schell, Russell Storer and Cai Guo-Qiang, Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave, (Shanghai: Artron Group, 2014), 163.
- Miwon Kwon, “The Art of Expenditure,“ in Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, Alexandra Munroe (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 2008), 67.
- Fei Dawei, ed., Cai Guo-Qiang, 131. “When I first arrived in the United States, I was practically unknown. I spent my time hiding from the police because, in the States, it is mandatory to get an authorisation from City Hall every time you work in a public place. When I organised the little explosions for this series of photographs, at any time they could have asked me to show proof of authorisation, which I didn't have, and given me trouble since I was using dangerous materials. So I had to do this work quietly. Now, these photographs have been exhibited, reproduced in numerous books and reviews, made into postcards, etc. Everyone said that the 20th century belonged to the United States. However, what is the most representative visual sign of the 20th century? The mushroom clouds. In the 19th century, they did not exist. In the 21st century, they will no longer exist since nuclear experiments will be done with computer simulations. And like everything that has become obsolete, they will become works of art.”
- Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 46.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: Hanging Out in the Museum, 109.
- Yukie Kamita, et al., Cai Guo-Qiang: The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize, (Hiroshima: Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008), 42.
- Yukie Kamita, et al., Cai Guo-Qiang: The 7th Hiroshima Art Prize, 30.
- Deitch, Jeffrey, ed. Cai Guo-Qiang: Ladder to the Sky, (Munich, London, New York: DelMonico Books | Prestel, 2012), 180.
- Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeffrey Deitch, and Rebecca Morse. Cai Guo-Qiang: Ladder to the Sky. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2012), 8.
- Cai Guo-Qiang, Jeffrey Deitch, and Rebecca Morse. Cai Guo-Qiang: Ladder to the Sky. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2012), 184.
- Gotthardt, Alexxa. "Explosives Artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s Story Comes to Netflix." Artsy, Oct. 10, 2016. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-explosives-artist-cai-guo-qiang-s-story-comes-to-netflix.
- Transculture: 46th Venice Biennial, pp. 22-25, (Tokyo: The Japan Foundation; Fukutake Science and Culture Foundation, 1995), 102.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 235.
- Jonathan Napack, “Chinese Artists May Sue Venice Biennale, 1999 Appropriation of a 1965 Socialist Realist Work Causes Anger.” The Art Newspaper (London) (Sept. 1, 2000): 3.
- Aihwa. Ong “’What Marco Polo Forgot’ Contemporary Chinese Art Reconfigures the Global,” Current Anthropology (Chicago) 53, no. 4 (Aug. 2012): 481.
- Jane Chin Davidson, “The Body Archive: Chineseness at the Venice Biennale (1993-2005),” Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 3, No. 1 & 2 (2016): 39-43.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 218.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: Inopportune, (Wilmington: MASS MoCA, 2005), 55.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 226.
- Jonathan Harris, ed., Identity Theft - The Cultural Colonization of Contemporary Art, (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2008), 215.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 226.
- Cai Guo-Qiang, et. al., Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth, (South Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 2014).
- Sharmini Pereira, ed. Cai Guo-Qiang: Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky (London: Albion/Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art Ltd. 2004). With essays by the artist, Jennifer Wen Ma, Sharmini Pereira, and James Putnam.
- Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting, (Maastricht: Bonnefantenmuseum, 2016), 164.
- Miller, M. H. (August 18, 2017). "An Architect and an Artist Walk Into a Barn". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
- "Cai Guo-Qiang website - Curriculum Vitae".
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- Cao Guo-Qiang with Ellen Pearlman, The Brooklyn Rail (April 2008)
- Alexandra Munroe Exhibition Essay, Cai Guo Qiang: I Want to Believe (2008)
- Forbes article on Cai Guo-Qiang