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 artist whose powerful work has gained him international recognition, he was the first Chinese artist to win the prestigious Taylor prize at the Paris Autumn Salon in Eiffel-Branly - a highly coveted award that is given to only one distinguished artist every year. Created with great technical skill and originality, Cai Zhisong's impressive 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 that 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.
Zhi Song's recent 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. In pursuit of countering this development, his artwork attempts to establish an indigenous form of contemporary art. Central to his work is the belief that art should be pluralistic, while the modern art world - despite its seeming diversity - harbors the danger of uniformity. Zhi Song observes the already existent centralization and economic strength of western civilizations driving many marginalized regional cultures to the periphery of society to become cultural 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 Zhi Song'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.
Awards and Honors
Global “100 Art Leaders”, “Art Actuel” in France.
Mr 2012 in “Esquire”.
Obtained the President’s Prize at Central Academy of Fine ArtsObtained Bronze Prize at the 10th National Art Exhibition
Obtained Outstanding Work Prize at the Fuzhou International Invitational Sculpture Exhibition
Obtained the Taylor Prize at the Paris Autumn SalonObtained Outstanding Work Prize at the Hebei International Invitational Sculpture Exhibition
Obtained Gold Prize at the 55th Anniversary Exhibition of the Victory Against the Japanese
Obtained Gangsong Family Fund Award
Selected Public Collections
Newark Museum (U.S.A)
Regensburg Museum, Germany
National Museum of Singapore
National Museum of Indonesia
National Museum of China
China National Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of the China Centra Academy of Fine Arts
CNC (China news)
China Sculpture Museum
He Xiangning Art Museum, Zhejiang Art Museum
Chongqing Art Museum
Changchun Sculpture Art Museum
Peking University research center of aesthetics
People’s Government of Changchun Municipality
People’s Government of Shijiazhuang Municipality
People’s Government of Yantai Municipality
People’s Government of Jiaozuo Municipality
Rose&Clouds——Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition , ARTMIA Gallery， Beijing, ChinaCai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, MOCA, Singapore
Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Ode To Art Contemporary, Singapore
Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, IndonesiaCai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Regensburg Museum, Germany
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Ming Art, TaiwanMotherland and Rose- Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Triumph Art Space, Beijing, China
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, China Square NY, New York, USACai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, See+ Gallery, Beijing, China
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, SHiNE Art Space, Shanghai, China
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, La Ke’er Art Center, Beijing, ChinaMotherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Highland Gallery, Beijing, China
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Art Scene Warehouse, Shanghai, China
Motherland-Cai Zhisong Solo Exhibition, Belgium Embassy, Beijing, China