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Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985. He spent several periods in Tibet, emigrated to Japan in 1986, and since 1995 lived in New York. Guo-Qiang made his name by using gunpowder in his work, which he would detonate as a symbol of his desire to free himself from cultural or political fetters. These works may be ephemera, which he captures on film or video—images that literally explode into being, or simulated landmines that detonate when visitors walk on them.

As a bearer of ancestral Chinese culture, Cai holds Western art up for examination as a form of inverse exoticism, shifting familiar ground by displacing his spectators and the way their eyes move. Sometimes, as in ...

Article

Japanese, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1970.

Born 4 October 1944, in Kyoto.

Painter (including gouache), engraver, draughtsman, sculptor, installation artist. Figures. Stage sets.

Akihiko Kuroda studied art history but then abandoned painting until 1974. In 1985 he founded the magazine Noise. He lives and works in Paris. His work is very free, born out of spontaneity; his forms seem to spring to life from his line. Influenced by Chinese calligraphy, his early works have delicate graffiti or stabbing signs against dark backgrounds. He works with great economy of means, creating incisive figures and frozen silhouettes that stand out against monochrome backgrounds. He usually uses lively colours in flat areas outlined in black or white. When working in other media, his attitude to the painted surface is always restless, making it silent or complex by turns. In some of his more recent work in black and grey, the ‘nothingness of space’ contains points, dots, curves, lines, brushstrokes, vortices of matter, geometric forms tossed casually down. Primarily a painter, Kuroda has also produced a large number of posters and book covers, notably for ...