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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Cai Guo-Qiang

b. 1957, China

Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. He was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theater Academy, and his work has since crossed multiple mediums within art, including drawing, installation, video and performance art. While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, he explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that eventually led to his experimentation with explosives on a massive scale and to the development of his signature explosion events. Drawing upon Eastern philosophy and contemporary social issues as a conceptual basis, these projects and events aim to establish an exchange between viewers and the larger universe around them, utilizing a site-specific approach to culture and history. He currently lives and works in New York.

Cai was awarded the Japan Cultural Design Prize in 1995 and the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. In the following years, he has received the 7th Hiroshima Art Prize (2007), the 20th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2009), and AICA’s first place for Best Project in a Public Space for Cai Guo-Qiang: Fallen Blossoms (2010). He also curated the first China Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale, 2005, and held the distinguished position as Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In 2012, Cai was honored as one of five Laureates for the prestigious Praemium Imperiale, an award that recognizes lifetime achievement in the arts in categories not covered by the Nobel Prize. Additionally, he was also among the five artists who received the first U.S. Department of State - Medal of Arts award for his outstanding commitment to international cultural exchange.

Among his many solo exhibitions and projects include Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006 and his retrospective I Want to Believe, which opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in February 2008 before traveling to the National Art Museum of China in Beijing in August 2008 and then to the Guggenheim Bilbao in March 2009. In 2011, Cai appeared in the solo exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, his first ever in a Middle Eastern country. In 2012, the artist appeared in three solo exhibitions: Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder (The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), Cai Guo-Qiang: Spring (Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China), and A Clan of Boats (Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark).

His first-ever solo exhibition in Brazil, Cai Guo-Qiang: Da Vincis do Povo, went on a three-city tour around the country in 2013, traveling from Brasilia to São Paulo before reaching its final destination in Rio de Janeiro. In October 2013, Cai created One Night Stand (Aventure d’un Soir), an explosion event for Nuit Blanche, a citywide art and culture festival organized by the city of Paris.

His exhibition, Falling Back to Earth opened in November 2013 at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Australia. He currently lives and works in New York.

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Cai Guo-Qiang Ocula Conversation Cai Guo-Qiang Artist, China

Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. He was a child during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and strongly influenced by society's vision for social utopia. Cai trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theatre Acadmey. He left China in 1986, spending almost 9 years as a young artist in...

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Dakis Joannou Ocula Conversation Dakis Joannou Founder, DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, Greece

In 1983, Dakis Joannou, along with curators Adelina Von Furstenberg and Efi Strousa, founded the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art. DESTE has staged exhibitions that include Cultural Geometry (1988), Psychological Abstraction (1989), Artificial Nature (1990), Post Human (1992-1993); four shows artist Andreas Angelidakis describes as four...

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In Related Press

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Now Jonathan Yeo is using Virtual Reality to make art Related Press Now Jonathan Yeo is using Virtual Reality to make art GQ : 11 December 2017

In celebration of its 250th birthday, London's Royal Academy Of Arts explores the historic practice of life drawing in a revolutionary way. Beginning with the Academy's 18th-century origins, From Life continues to the present and, most intriguingly, moves into the future. Historical paintings hang alongside works by Cai Guo-Qiang, Jenny Saville,...

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From Innovation to Provocation, China’s Artists on a Global Path Related Press From Innovation to Provocation, China’s Artists on a Global Path The New York Times : 6 October 2017

Strange to say, although China has 1.4 billion people, it has only one artist, Ai Weiwei. Or so you'd think if you followed the Western news media. Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum wants to correct that impression. With work by some 70 Chinese-born artists and collectives filling most of the museum,...

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Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies Lights Up Philadelphia Related Press Cai Guo-Qiang’s Fireflies Lights Up Philadelphia Whitewall : 21 September 2017

Over the past decade, public art has flourished in our cities. Sculptures and ephemeral performances illuminate our public spaces while questioning societal norms. And when participatory and interactive, public art leaves a long-lasting impression in our minds. This was surely the case for whoever experienced Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The...

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Where to go when you leave TEFAF Maastricht Related Press Where to go when you leave TEFAF Maastricht Apollo Magazine : 14 March 2017

This March, TEFAF is the occasion for a host of outstanding exhibitions in and around Maastricht. While some are a little further afield, if you are visiting the city it's worth extending your stay to take in some of the satellite events. Here is our pick of the best fairs and museum shows in the region.

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In Related Video

Netflix documentary looks at the career of Cai Guo-Qiang Related Video & Audio Netflix documentary looks at the career of Cai Guo-Qiang The Art Newspaper : 3 October 2016

A documentary produced by Netflix to be released widely in October looks at the career of the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. The film is titled _Sky Ladder _after a monumental 2015 work of the same name, in which Cai ignited a 1,650 ft. ladder of fireworks that reached into the sky above Huiyu Island Harbour in Quanzhou. 'I want to connect the earth...


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