Guggenheim Foundation and CICE Present Record-Breaking Exhibition



Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe at the Art Museum of China in Beijing for Olympic Games

(NEW YORK, NY – Aug 11, 2008) The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and The Center of International Cultural Exchange, Ministry of Culture, P.R.C. will present the Guggenheim’s highly-acclaimed exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing during the Olympics from August 19 to September 2, 2008 as an official event of the cultural Olympiad.

The exhibition, which Newsweek hailed as “explosive—and gorgeous,” was the best-attended visual arts show in the New York Guggenheim Museum ’s history (February 22 to May 28, 2008.) “Rarely has an artist packed a museum with so much visual excitement,” according to ARTnews magazine (Apr. 08). The exhibition surveys the innovative body of work of Cai Guo-Qiang (pronounced tsai gwo chang) with 40 works from the 1980s to the present. The retrospective includes his signature gunpowder drawings, video projections of his explosion events, installations, and social projects. Cai is a core member of the creative team and Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The exhibition at NAMOC will feature a new, 4-by-33-meter large-scale gunpowder drawing that relates to the work he has created for the Olympics, as well as a video documenting the August 8 opening events.

This exhibition in Beijing is organized by the Center of International Cultural Exchange and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in collaboration with the National Art Museum of China, and is curated by Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Asian Art. Following its Beijing presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in spring 2009.The Guggenheim Museum ’s catalogue will be translated and published by the People’s Press, and features essays by Fan Di’an, Munroe, Wang Hui, David Joselit, and Miwon Kwon.

The Lead Sponsor for this Exhibition in Beijing is FAW-VW Audi Sales Division.

The Honorary Sponsors are Eslite Gallery, Tianda Group Limited, Yunnan Enterprises Holdings Limited, Artron Enterprises Group (Limited), Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shiseido Company Limited and Shiseido (China) Investment Company Limited.

About the Artist
Cai Guo-Qiang is internationally recognized as an artist, curator, and creator of large-scale explosion events, who has been active in exhibitions, biennales, and public celebrations around the world for the last twenty years. Born in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, in 1957, and a resident of New York since 1995, Cai is acclaimed as a bold originator of new forms of art that use gunpowder to create what are called “gunpowder drawings” and “explosion events”, which are large-scale, often staged out-of-doors displays of explosions or pyrotechnics. Since the mid-1990s, Cai’s practice has expanded to include interactive installations that often recuperate signs and symbols of Chinese culture and expose the dialectics of history and globalization.

The Guggenheim in Asia
In 2006, the Guggenheim appointed its first curator of Asian art, Alexandra Munroe, and formalized its commitment to Asian art which began in the 1990s with several ground-breaking exhibitions including Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky (1994), China: 5,000 Years - Innovation and Transformation in the Arts and Dawn: Early Chinese Cinem, A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in the Art of Twentieth-Century China (1998), and Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, which premiered in Beijing in 2007. With this curatorial appointment the Guggenheim furthered its commitment to addressing how Asian art can be effectively integrated into the dominant Euro-American discourse of international modern and contemporary art.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. In early 2013 the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a 452,000 square foot museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open.

#1093 August 11, 2008

Betsy Ennis, Director, Guggenheim Media and Public Relations
Claire Laporte, Associate, Media Relations
Tel 212 423 3840 or E-mail:

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