"I still think the social function of art is that kind of negative aesthetic. Otherwise there’s no social function for it."
Filmed for the occasion of Armory Focus: China at The Armory Show 2014 in New York City, curator Philip Tinari reflects on the work of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Tinari, director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and curator of Armory Focus: China, discusses the artist's on-going fascination with gunpowder, as well as an interest in how "'Chinese-ness' is transported across time and space."
Cai Guo-Qiang was first featured by Art21 in Season 3 (2005) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series.
Philip Tinari began a partnership with Art21 in 2009, interviewing artist Cao Fei in Beijing for Season 5 (2009) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. Tinari would again partner with Art21 to interview artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing for Season 6 (2012).
Armory Focus is a specially curated section of The Armory Show that highlights the artistic landscape of a chosen geographic region. For The Armory Show 2014, Philip Tinari curated Armory Focus: China, shining new light on the country’s contemporary cultural practice.
CREDITS | Producer: Eve Moros Ortega. Interview: Eve Moros Ortega. Camera: Rafael Salazar. Sound: Ava Wiland. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Cai Guo-Qiang. Thanks: Philip Tinari, The Armory Show, Christopher Mao, and John Tancock. Theme Music: Peter Foley. Original Cai Guo-Qiang segment excerpted from Season 3 (2005) of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series. © Art21, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.