Cai Guo Qiang (Chinese/American, born 1957), 蔡國强 Hanging Pine

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Lot 36
Cai Guo Qiang
(Chinese/American, born 1957)
蔡國强
Hanging Pine

Sold for HK$ 1,125,625 (US$ 145,202) inc. premium
Cai Guo Qiang (Chinese/American, born 1957), 蔡國强
Hanging Pine
2010

signed in Chinese and English, titled in Chinese and English and dated 2010
gunpowder on paper, mounted on wooden panel

230 x 77.5 cm (90 9/16 x 30 1/2 in)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Collection of the Artist, New York
    Gene & Brian Sherman Collection, Australia

    Literature
    Art Gallery of New South Wales, Go East: the Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection Sydney 2015, Paddington, p. 230, illustrated in black and white

    蔡國強
    垂松
    火藥 紙 裝裱於木製單屏屏風
    2010年作

    簽名: Hanging Pine, Cai 2010 NY 垂松 蔡國強

    來源
    藝術家收藏 (紐約)
    澳洲Gene & Brian Sherman私人收藏

    出版
    《邁向東方:吉恩&布萊恩.雪曼當代亞洲藝術收藏》,新南威爾士美術館, 悉尼 2015年, 第230頁, 黑白圖

    Stepping out of traditional boundaries of artistic expression, Cai Guo Qiang is positioned as one of the most innovative contemporary artists. Born in 1957 in Quanzhou, China, Cai trained in stage design and graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1985. During his studies, Cai often experimented with Western painting techniques such as oil and watercolor. It was also during this time where his interest in gunpowder as a medium sparked, although Cai was already drawn to gunpowder ever since his childhood experiences with fire crackers in China. In 1986, Cai moved to Japan, spending years developing and honing his hanabi gunpowder technique. In Japan, Cai gained international prominence with his gunpowder drawings at his first solo exhibition Primeval Fireball in 1991 at p3 art and environment in Tokyo. Cai moved to the US in 1995 and settled in New York where he currently resides and works.

    Exploring both the destructive and constructive nature of gunpowder, Cai's creative process is a spiritual response to moral aspects of chaos and contradictions. With his gunpowder drawings, first he sketches on Japanese paper on the floor, then lays down stencils cut out from cardboard. Arranging gunpowder around the sketched lines, Cai uses wooden boards as weight to cover the paper and control the force of the explosion. When the setup is completed, he ignites a fuse and allows the explosion to unravel. The gunpowder rips across the Japanese paper, leaving marks of explosives that are controlled yet unpredictable. Using gunpowder as a medium, Cai embraces chaos developed through an explosive and destructive medium. What results is a thought provoking composition as seen in the present lot, which Cai draws from Eastern philosophy as a conceptual basis, consciously deciding to accept and seek harmony amidst uncertainties. Titled Hanging Pine, the present lot depicts a pine tree, which is a symbol for longevity in Taoist philosophies that has been a frequent subject matter in traditional Chinese landscape shanshui paintings. Constructing a symbol of longevity with an intangible medium in a fleeting moment, Cai's exploration of contradiction is a destructive process that relates to time and space, which are both important factors in his works. Calculated and controlled yet unexpected and spontaneous, the process communicates to something infinitely far away, in relation to time, its surrounding and environment. Upon close inspection, what becomes apparent is a sense of serenity amidst chaos, a harmonic and rhythmic composition orchestrated from a powerful and destructive process.

    Hanging Pine encapsulates Cai's experimentation of chaos and contradictions through gunpowder in his creative process. Cai remains as a pioneer, exploring and attaching unconventional artistic vocabulary to a revolutionary artistic abstraction. The present lot comes from the philanthropists and private collectors Gene & Brian Sherman in Australia. In 2015, the present lot was listed in the exhibition collection "Go East: the Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection" at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which featured thirty one works by twenty artists across Asia. Measuring 230 x 77.5 cm, Hanging Pine harnesses natural forces, establishing a spiritual dialogue through chaos and transformation.

    跨出藝術表現的傳統界限,蔡國強是最具開創性的當代藝術家之一。1957年生於中國泉州,蔡國強在上海戲劇學院研習舞台設計,並於1985年畢業。他在求學期間經常試驗西方繪畫媒材,如油畫和水彩。也是在這段時間,他開始對火藥作為創作媒材產生興趣,雖然他早在童年時期就因為中國使用爆竹的經驗而深受火藥吸引。他在1986年移居日本,花費數年的時間發展並磨練他的「花火」(hanabi )火藥技術。1991年,他在東京P3 art and environment發表個展「原初火球」,並以他的火藥繪畫受到國際關注。蔡國強在1995年遷居美國並落腳紐約至今。

    蔡國強的創作過程探索了火藥所具有的破壞與建構雙重本質,在精神上回應了關於混亂與矛盾的觀點。創作火藥繪畫時,他先將和紙置於地面進行素描,鋪上硬紙板做成的模板,接著依據素描放置火藥,並以木板壓蓋在紙張之上,藉以控制爆破的力道。完成前置作業後,藝術家點燃引線引爆火藥,在和紙上炸開的火藥留下了既受控制卻又無法預測的爆破痕跡。採用火藥為媒介的蔡國強擁抱了具有爆炸性與破壞性的媒材所形成的混亂。其成果是引人深思的畫面,如同本拍品,是蔡國強以東方哲學為概念基礎,有意識地接受不確定性,並在不確定性中尋找和諧。這件名為《垂松》的作品描繪一棵松樹,松樹在道家思想裡象徵著長壽,亦是傳統中國山水畫裡常見的題材。蔡國強以無法捉摸的媒材在一瞬之間構成具有長壽之意的象徵,這當中關於矛盾的探究是一種涉及時間和空間的破壞過程,而時間和空間都是蔡國強創作過程裡的重要關鍵。作品的創作過程經過精密的計算與控制,仍然保留了藝術家無法預期的自發性,作品形成的整個過程呼應了延伸無垠之境的力量,涉及了時間、以及其所處的周圍與環境。仔細觀賞這件作品,將感受到混亂之中顯現出一股平靜,和諧且充滿律動的畫面,於嫣從強而有力的破壞過程中誕生。

    經由火藥及藝術家的創作過程,《垂松》蘊藏了蔡國強關於混亂與矛盾的實驗。作為一位探索不懈的先鋒,蔡國強發掘並調度常規之外的藝術語彙,灌注於顛覆性的藝術淬鍊。本拍品來自澳大利亞慈善家吉恩&布萊恩.雪曼(Gene & Brian Sherman)伉儷的私人收藏。此作名列2015年新南威爾斯美術館的「邁向東方:吉恩&布萊恩.雪曼當代亞洲藝術收藏」一展,當時展出了亞洲20位藝術家的31件作品。尺幅為230 x 77.5 cm,《垂松》一作駕馭了自然力量,藉由混亂與轉化而建立了精神性的對話。
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