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 Zhisong Cai  (1972 - )

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: abstract figure and head sculpture

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BIOGRAPHY for Zhisong Cai
1972 (Shenyang, China)

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abstract figure and head sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Cai Zhi Song was born in 1972 in Shenyang Liaoning Province, China and graduated from the Sculpture Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1997. He then taught at the university from 1998-2008. A sculpture, Cai Zhisong, was the first Chinese artist to win the prestigious Taylor prize at the Paris Autumn Salon in Eiffel-Branly.

Cai Zhisong's sculptures derive their inspiration from the sculptures of the Qin (221-206 B.C.) and Han Dynasties (206/202 B.C. - 220). Taking empirical figures, servants and warriors as his models, he uses modern techniques and materials to transform historically endowed entities into an entirely new significance and actuality. Out of glass-fiber reinforced resin and thin sheets of metal, Cai Zhisong creates figures intended to capture the viewer's imagination and achieve a timeless beauty. Intricate surface detail, such as the figures'ornate hairstyles created out of thin wires, contrast with the simple, clear shapes and poses of his sculptures. Although impressive in size, the use of high tech material makes the figures seem amazingly light.

Cai Zhisong's latest series of works -"Motherland"- not only shows his fascination with ancient Chinese culture but also addresses the dangers and consequences of cultural erosion in the face of today's increasing Globalization. An attempt to counteract this development, his artwork attempts to establish an indigenous form of contemporary art. Central to his work lies the belief that art should be pluralistic, while the modern art world - despite its seeming diversity - harbors the danger of uniformity. Cai Zhisong observes the already existent centralization and economic strength of western civilizations driving many marginalized regional cultures to the periphery ofsociety to become culture reservations or tourist attractions.

Although derived from ancient sources, the expressive poses do not possess much in common with the static, solemn sculpture-works of former periods of Chinese art. Carefully balanced between movement and stillness they create a tension, which engages the viewer's imagination. Furthermore, Cai Zhisong's use of material gives his sculptures a modern feel. Choosing from a wide range of different materials available today from traditional to high-tech, he develops a distinctive style, in which thin sheets of metal are applied to a skeleton of reinforced glass-fiber resin, sometimes overlaying the metal sheets further with other materials. Rather than building a smooth surface, the many small sheets overlay each other creating a patchwork pattern, which, although barely visible, is one of the distinct characteristics of Cai Zhisong's style.

The often deferring, subservient poses of Cai Zhisong's figures seem to mourn the loss of history and cultural identity of the present age. However they also convey more general ideas about the hardships of life,evoking feelings that every viewer can relate to.


2004- Obtained the President's Prize at Central Academy of Fine Arts
2004- Obtained Bronze Prize at the 10th National Art Exhibition
2003- Obtained Outstanding Work Prize at the Fu zhou International Invitational Sculpture Exhibition
2001- Awarded the Taylor Prize, China
2001- Awarded the Outstanding Artwork Award Hebei International Sculpture Exhibition
1997- Obtained Gangsong Family Fund Award

Solo Exhibitions:
2011- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
2011- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Ode To Art Contemporary, Singapore
2011- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Regensburg Museum, Germany
2010- Motherland-CaiZhisong Solo Exhibition, Ming Art, Taiwan
2010- Motherland and Rose- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Triumph Art Space, Beijing, China
2009- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, See+ Gallery, Beijing, China
2009-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, China Square NY, New York, USA
2006-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, SHiNE Art Space, Shanghai, China
2005-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, La Ke'er Art Center, Beijing, China
2005-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Highland Gallery, Beijing, China
2004-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Art Scene Warehouse, Shanghai, China
2003-Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Belgium Embassy, Beijing, China

"Cai Zhi Song", ODETOARTCONTEMPORARY,,Cai%20Zhi%20Song

Biography from Kingsley Art Auction:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Shenyang, China, Cai Zhi-Song was a graduate of Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Art, and he is a sculpture artist whose inspiration is derived from the sculptures of the Qin Dynasties (221-206 B.C.) and also from present traditional Chinese spiritual ambience. 

He puts emphasis on some kind of tender and harmonious inner state without religious worship.

The series of "Motherland" are signature artworks of Cai's.  Through metallic materials such as copper and lead, he presents his interpretation of Chinese aesthetic philosophy, striving for distinct meaning, as well as the combination of solidness and tenderness.

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