Beijing Olympics 2008 | Wang Xiaoxi - Courtesy of Cai Studio

Beijing Olympics 2008 | Xinhua

Beijing Olympics 2008 | Xinhua

Beijing Olympics 2008 | Xinhua

Beijing Olympics 2008 | Xinhua

Collaboration with Issey Miyake | Courtesy Miyake Design Studio

Collaboration with Tan Dun | Hiro Ihara - Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

Collaboration with Zaha Hadid | Courtesy of Cai Studio

86. Cai Guo-Qiang

Artist

When not drawing—and detonating—pictures made from gunpowder or staging massive outdoor "explosion events" like the fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Cai Guo-Qiang is busy breaking records. His 14 gunpowder pieces sold at Christie's in Hong Kong in 2007 for $9.5 million, an all-time auction high for contemporary Chinese art. He's the first Chinese artist to snag a Venice Biennale award and the first living artist to have a solo show in a state-operated Chinese museum. The seven white sedans he suspended from the ceiling at the Guggenheim in New York last year left the art world chattering about American car culture. — by Kate Rockwood

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