Cai Guo-Qiang is a Chinese artist who currently lives and works in New York City.
Cai Guo-Qiang's practice draws on a wide variety of symbols, narratives, traditions and materials such as fengshui, Chinese medicine, shanshui paintings, science, flora and fauna, portraiture, and fireworks. Much of his work draws on Maoist/Socialist concepts for content, especially his gunpowder drawings which strongly reflect Mao Zedong's tenet "destroy nothing, create nothing." Cai has said: “In some sense, Mao Zedong influenced all artists from our generation with his utopian romance and sentiment." Cai’s importance when considered on the parallel history of Chinese contemporary art is "critical," as he was among the first artists to contribute to discussions of Chinese art, however geographically dispersed, as a viable intellectual narrative with its own historical context and theoretical framework.