Unlike many of Chinese contemporary artists, Guo-Qiang’s work does not contain a political message. The artist stated: “I think art is fun. It should be fun for the artist and participants and viewers and not such a burden or some sort of responsibility when they experience the work.” His practise can be related to Mao’s theory of providing entertainment for masses through art. Many of his works are large scale installations or performances, that aim to create a one-time mesmerizing act. This kind of theatrical approach is connected to his training as a Stage Designer at Shanghai Theater Academy.
The opening of his Shanghai solo exhibition, The Ninth Wave, has been crowned with stunning fireworks. The showcase’s name relates to Ivan Aivazovsky's painting under the same title that depicts a scene of survivors floating around a sinking ship complemented with a fire-like sunset sky. The artwork is a direct reference to Guo-Qiang's statement about art brining joy and hope to people.
Photos: Cai Guo - Qiang
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