Cai Guo-Qiang : My Stories of Painting BACA 2016

The first exhibition that will focus on Cai's long journey of painting in terms of two parallel paths.

30 September 2016 to 1 May 2017

On 29 September 2016, the Bonnefanten Award for Contemporary Art 2016 (BACA) was awarded to Cai Guo-Qiang (1957, Quanzhou, Fujian, China). The BACA is the most important award for international visual art in the Netherlands. The award was presented for the ninth time this year. Consisting of a sum of 50,000 Euros, a publication and a solo exhibition, the Award is a tribute to a living non-Western artist with an exceptional oeuvre and a demonstrable influence on other artists, exhibition makers and art professionals.

Cai Guo-Qiang: My Stories of Painting

My Stories of Painting is the first exhibition that will focus on Cai's long journey of painting in terms of two parallel paths. The first traces his decades of restless exploration in painting, presenting over a hundred works from different periods, of varying scale, and across various mediums — many of which are shown for the first time.

The trajectory begins with his time in China: watercolours and oil paintings, assignments from his student days, experimental paintings, and oil paintings with gunpowder; followed by his time in Japan: paintings created purely with gunpowder, and gunpowder drawings for explosion events; it then moves on to his time in New York and the vast global stage — paintings reflecting his unique challenge to the issue of painting through his consistent artistic methodology, including recent pieces following his return to creating independent gunpowder paintings in the past few years.

The second path is that of his family: his grandmother, parents, wife, and daughters. Through their paintings, photography, and other works, be it professional or amateur, realist or amorphous, viewers can see how generation after generation, the artist's family accompanies and mutually influences Cai. They will be able to appreciate the exhibition's scholarly consideration of the artist's paintings, in addition to experiencing the tender and intimate as well as bitter and arduous sides of a painter's journey.

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