Cai Guo-Qiang - Sketch for the Age of Not Believing in God, 1999 // Drawing for Myth: Shooting the Suns: Project for Extraterrestials No. 21, 1994
The oeuvre of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang (*1957 in Quanzhou, China) includes drawings, paintings and installations as well as performance and video art. By using traditional Chinese teachings, techniques and symbols such as fengshui, traditional Chinese medicine and classical pyrotechnics, his works reflect the relationship between Eastern and Western philosophies and traditions. At the same time, they deal with nature and civilization as well as the healing of collective social traumas, such as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After training as a stage designer at the Shanghai Theater Academy from 1981 to 1985, the artist moved to Japan, where he developed his characteristic technique of gunpowder painting until the mid-1990s, in which colors and stencils are attached to a white background and combined with gunpowder. The ignition of the powder and the subsequent explosion mix the individual elements, make motifs visible and literally burn them into the ground. The artist’s early explosives experiments also developed into impressive explosion events, which made him internationally renowned as an “explosion artist”. His largest and most media-effective work was the fireworks for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Cai Guo-Qiang has lived and worked in New York since 1995 and can look back on numerous international solo exhibitions as well as a retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He has already received many important awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1999, the Hiroshima Art Prize in 2007 and the Fukoka Prize in 2009. In 2012, he was honored as the winner of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale in the painting category.
Erwerbungen Perlensucher 2022
The five sketch sheets in the series The Age of Not Believing in God complement an existing installation in the Museum Ludwig collection made of wood, bamboo arrows, feathers and brass and complete the series. The drawings document Cai Guo-Qiang’s visions for his installation and show sketches of religious beings and symbols in an unworked state and one pierced with arrows, including their spatial representation.
The paper work Drawing for Myth: Shooting the Suns: Project for Extraterrestials No. 21 is one of Cai Guo-Qiang’s classic gunpowder drawings. On the one hand, the unusual material of gunpowder creates a link to the long history of pyrotechnics in China and its traditional use at festivals and major events, but at the same time it also evokes associations with violent conflicts, firearms and wars. The title refers to the widespread fear and, in some cases, the desire of mankind to come into contact with possible extraterrestrials.