Cai Guo-Qiang2001

Whether he is extending the Great Wall of China by 10,000 meters of fire and light leading into the desert, recontextualizing Chinese Social Realist figures at the Venice Biennale, arranging a museum space with massive limestone boulders and Jacuzzi placed according to the traditional principles of feng shui, or using gunpowder as a medium with ground as the canvas, Cai Guo-Qiang makes physical, conceptual and spiritual gestures on a grand scale. Beginning with the recognition of the interrelatedness of all things, he employs poetic imagery, theoretical rigor, and visceral processes and moves freely between East and West and micro and macro experience in the attempt to create nothing less than a bridge between global and local, and inner and outer worlds.
"As an artist from a non-western background, I feel that my position is similar to that of a pendulum. On one hand, the question is how do we extend and develop our own cultural identity as it faces the challenges of a new era. On the other hand, while we work and live in the western system, naturally and inadvertently the western issues become our issues. These two concerns come from different perspectives; they sometimes oppose each other, sometimes overlap. As we sway over to one side of the spectrum, the opposing force pulls us stronger to the other side, causing a constant oscillation between pondering and stability. This ponderous swaying is characteristic of the eastern artist working in the west."