Top 32 Cai Guo-Qiang Quotes

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“For my art, there is a common theme most of the time: it is using the things we can see to search for the world we cannot see.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“My work is like a dialogue between me and unseen powers, like alchemy.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I lived in Japan for eight years before moving to New York, but I was looking forward to a place like America to change my opinion on things and force me to come up with new perspectives.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Only an idiot would open an exhibition saying, ‘Look at my awesome work.’”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Many artists, when they are creating art, are searching for a vehicle that can manifest a feeling they have inside of themselves.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Only individual creativity can bring about real social development.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“One reason I chose gunpowder is that I had the good luck in my environment to be exposed to gunpowder. The other reason is I was always looking for a visual language that goes beyond the boundary of nations, and so I found gunpowder.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Computer animation is one way to liberate people from their circumstantial gravity, and it is one way to give them mental freedom.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“For an artist, a good place to be is you have some kind of influence and power to get things done, but in your essence you remain a nomad or a soldier facing a difficulty to be overcome.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Through art, through people working together and building relationships and trust, people can overcome the problems of politics.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“When I was young, the constraints of Chinese society and my personal timid and cautious nature both drove me to seek a means to go against control. Gunpowder has an inherent uncertainty and uncontrollability and is an important means for me to relieve myself of constraint.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“The boyhood dream of becoming a painter stays important to me.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Using gunpowder as a medium became a way to liberate myself.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“In my own art, I try to use my personal voice and effort to enable some Chinese people to see the possibilities of another kind of China. A more open China.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“The role of art in society is not to resolve conflicts; rather, it is to express these conflicts and antagonisms.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Even though China was a very closed country, they thought of themselves as the center of the world. It is an ethnic characteristic. After I went to Japan, I had a totally different view. The Japanese are always talking about what the Western world is doing. There is the anxious feeling of an outsider.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I’m always oscillating between if I should sprinkle more gunpowder or less. But if I put too much gunpowder, there may be holes throughout the silk. If not enough, the power and energy would not be shown.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Everyone has their moments of solitude, difficulties, and vulnerability.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Even though Chinese society was really closed, there were two windows for me to explore the world. One was from my mother and grandmother, the unseen and invisible world. Another window was brought from my father’s side, those classic and Western books.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“When I was young, I didn’t want to do traditional painting and calligraphy. I deliberately wanted to separate from my father so I could feel I existed myself.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“In any country, in any city, there will be political influence on what is said, what kind of images are to be projected and, yes, of course artists can be and are influenced by politicians.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I have always been a coward as a child. I am not very brave. I am very aware of the fact that I am not very gutsy.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I do believe every artwork has its own charisma. Sometimes it’s different from what I expect. When a work is finished, it exudes its own charisma and lives its life independently.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I tend to be cautious and rational, prone to keep everything under control.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Art should not be a tool of politics, but sometimes art can help make the political climate more open and help society become more free.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Any work that is born out of natural serendipity or reverts to simpler times is poignant for people – in any era.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Temporality and the transformation of energy are two very important aspects in my work.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I have always found that if, while creating an artwork, the artist constantly feels that some accident would occur if he is not careful, then it is a very significant moment and a significant work.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“In Quanzhou, I have a lot of influence from superstition. I would go to the temple with my grandmother and mother. That is why I have a lot of curiosity about the unseen force and invisible things.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“Anyone can be seduced by the possession of power and influence.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“My father was also a painter – actually, a traditional Chinese painter. His personality is pretty timid and cautious. Like him, I was growing up as a cautious kid.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang

“I was growing up in a society that exerted a lot of control on people, and from both my personality and the social condition, I found gunpowder gradually as a very suitable medium for exploration.”

― Cai Guo-Qiang
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