Hello! This is Shin this week. 

I am going to introduce Cai Guo-Qiang this week, who is one of my favourite artists! I love his work and he himself so so much.

I am so excited that his solo exhibition opened yesterday at the National Art Center Tokyo. I can’t wait to see it!

Cai was born in 1957 in Quanzhou, China.

He was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theatre Academy from 1981 to 1985, and his work has crossed various media, including drawing, installation, video and performance.

Cai began experimenting with gunpowder in his hometown Quanzhou, and continued to explore its properties while living in Japan from 1986 to 1995. This eventually led to the development of his signature outdoor explosion events. He has lived and worked in New York since 1995.

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.

Also this Monday, 26 June 2023, he launched a daytime fireworks show “When the Sky Blooms with Sakura” 《満天の桜が咲く日》in Iwaki, Fukushima.

Because of his 10 years of experience, his has a deep feeling for Japan.

It’s a pity that I can’t make it to see that, but I can imagine how astonishing and thrilling it was from the photos shared by my friends in social media.

photo from Caistudio


I knew him for the first time when I was a child, that was 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was in charge of all the fireworks shows at that time.

I saw his documentary, “Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-qiang” a few years ago, and I was strongly moved again.

photo from Caistudio

Cai launched his first NFT project Transient Eternity—101 Ignitions of Gunpowder Paintings in 2021. The work was sold in a virtual charity auction for 2.5 million USD, setting the record for the highest NFT sale from a non-crypto-native artist.

What I want to say is that he is 66, but he is as energetic as a young man. Still has a strong curiosity for all kinds of new things like technology and explored a lot by combining everything in artwork.

His passion for life, his sincere care for world and children, his humor, his amazing imagination, his endless energy of creating…always empower me a lot from time to time. So cool, so romantic. A Dionysus.

The world needs people like that.

If you are interested in his work, please go to the museum. It’s a perfect way to spend the weekend!

See ya.

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