"Peasant Da Vincis" Cai Guoqiang

08:40, May 04, 2010      

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Cai Guo-qiang (4th L) poses for pictures with 9 peasant inventors Xiong Tianhua, Tao Xiangli, Li Yuming, Wu Yulu, Wu Shuzai, Chen Zhongzhi, Xu Bin, Wang Qiang and Duwenda (L to R) of "Cai Guoqiang, Peasant Da Vincis" Exhibition in the Rockbund Art Museum, in Shanghai, east China, May 2, 2010. (Xinhua/Lin Yi)

Thoughout his career, Cai Guoqiang has been exploring themes such as humanity, the relationship between nature and the universe, and the creative strength and energy of nature. As the inaugural exhibition for Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, “Cai Guo-qiang, Peasant Da Vincis”, is a pioneering cross-disciplinary project featuring “cultural readymades”, a common element in his works, and the artist will for the first time focus on the creative power of individual Chinese peasants.

Exploring the subject of individual creativity, “Cai Guo0qiang, Peasant Da Vincis”, coincides with the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, where countries and companies exhibit their latest invention in political, economic, technological and cultural strengths. “Cai Guo0qiang, Peasant Da Vincis”, presents stories of peasant inventors all over China who show great ethusiasm and courage in the pursuit of their dreams. Besides, exhibiting a large number of inventions, the project will invite the peasant inventors to recreat their works and demonstrate how this inventions work on site. In order to encourage public discussion on this apparently rough and amateurish hand-built creations as well as their aesthetics and social and cultural connotations. These works are representations of the wildest imagination, some of which even defy basic engineering principles. The exhibition also intends to provide a platform for discussions on the social transformation of hundreds of millions of peasants in the modernization process in China and their huge contributions to urban development. The theme of the exhibition “Peasants--making a better city a better life” corresponse with the “Better City Better Life” theme of the 2010 World Expo, expressing a collective wish for better life in a brighter future.

As a creator, planner and artist of this inaugural exhiibition, Cai Guoqiang has been collecting inventions by peasants such as homemade plains, helicopters, flying saucers, submarines, racing cars and robots, for many years, he has commissioned a peasant inventor to make an aircraft carrier to function as a gigantic spatial-temporal installation that encompasses various social elements and media.
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