Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China, and lives and works in New York. He is most well known for his "explosive events" where he uses gunpowder and explosives to create art either using the smoke, explosions themselves, or flames created.

He also does gunpowder drawings where he spreads gunpowder on canvases in patterns and then lights it, leaving behind a residue.

He draws from a wide variety of sources including modern and historical events, philosophy, traditional chinese art and legends, and feng shui among other things.

In the last decade, he has also begun to do installation art which draws from his interest in explosions and pain.