David Eliott, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, Vice Director and Senior Curator, gives the second talk for the symposium.
Beginning with the context of Shanghai in the late 1970s- early '80s where Cai Guo-Qiang studied, I will consider briefly the early influences on his work including that of Russian/Soviet art as well those of his contemporaries and the prevailing cultural discourse in the city. I shall then consider - again briefly - the periodicity of Cai Guo-Qiang's artistic production to date: from painting, to explosion events, to explosion drawings, to installations, to gunpowder paintings.
David Elliott is a British art historian, curator, writer and teacher who has directed museums in Oxford (MoMA 1976-1996, where he presented Cai Guo-Qiang's work for the first time in the UK in 1993), Stockholm (Moderna Museet, 1996-2001), Tokyo (Mori Art Museum, founding director 2001- 2006), and Istanbul (Museum of Modern Art, 2007). He is currently Vice Director and Senior Curator of the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA) in Guangzhou.
He has been the artistic director of major biennales in Sydney (2010), Kyiv (2012), Moscow (2014) and Belgrade (2016) and has taught Art History/Museum Studies at the University of Oxford (1986- 96), National University of the Arts, Tokyo (2002-06), Humboldt University, Berlin (Rudolf Arnheim Professor in the History of Art 2008), and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2008-2016).