What are the biography and theories of Cai Guo-Qiang?   

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cai Guo-Qiang has his own web page, which is cited in the sources section.

Cai, the director of visual and special effects for the Beijing Olympics, was born in 1957. His parents were a historian and a painter, and Cai was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute. One critic calls his work "scholarly and often politically charged." In the late 1980s, Cai began to experiment with using gunpowder in his drawings in order to, as his web page states,  "foster spontaneity and confront the suppression that he felt from the controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China at the time." This experimentation led to the creation of his signature style, which have come to be called "explosion events." He relies heavily on Maoist concepts for inspiration, particularly the tenet "destroy nothing, create nothing."

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arrellbelle | Student

Cai Quo Qiang is a rather interesting artist that I have come across in my years of studying art and art history. 

He utilizes gun powder as an art medium and basically sets them on a piece of paper, is lit up, and explodes, to create whatever symbols he strategically placed them in. Gun powder to him, is an incredible form of art because it can either create or destroy anything in its path. Therefore, keeping that in mind, he uses it in conjunction with symbolism that deals with the Chinese Culture.