Hiroshima Art Prize awarded to Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang

by Aya Nishimura, Staff Writer

Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang was awarded the 7th Hiroshima Art Prize from Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba at a ceremony held at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art on October 21. The prize, established by the city of Hiroshima, is given to artists who have contributed to the cause of peace in the field of contemporary art.

Mr. Cai, who is based in New York, creates artwork rooted in traditional Chinese culture. In 1994, he successfully implemented an outdoor project in Hiroshima that used gunpowder and this event led to a series of installations across the United States which incorporated the theme of mushroom clouds and an appeal for peace. Mr. Cai also served as Director of Visual and Special Effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics this past summer.

At the awards ceremony, Mr. Cai expressed his pleasure at receiving the honor, stating, “I am touched by the appreciation that the citizens of Hiroshima have for my work.”

On October 25, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art will open a solo exhibition of Mr. Cai’s work to celebrate his receipt of the prize. Around 1 p.m. that day, an “explosion event involving black fireworks,” with the idea of consoling the souls of the A-bomb victims, will be held near the Hiroshima Children’s Museum in downtown Hiroshima. In case of rain, the event will be postponed to noon on October 26.

(Originally published on October 22, 2008)

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