Artist's talent goes beyond his years

Nineteen-year-old student Cai Yindong challenges with a solo exhibition.

Winner of the Best Creative Award at the United Nations’ “Eye Art 2017International Youth Exhibition,” Cai Yindong, a 19-year-old student artist, is holding a solo exhibition at Shanghai's M50.

Looking at his works — whether collages and photos or installations and video — many people feel it hard to believe that they are created by someone so young.

In one piece, Cai has mixed a portrait with propylene, broken glasses and branches to make what he calls a kind of experiment to pursue “a balance of the chaotic.”

“That’s my unique language to express my observation of the details of life around me,” says the Shanghai native.

Cai’s interest in art started at the age of six when he was taken by his parents to an art exhibition. Later, he was tutored on basic art skills by an art teacher in Shanghai.

“But it's my study in the United Kingdom that has really widened my art scope,” he says.

Cai prefers to reflect his interpretations through contemporary methods.

His installation entitled “Eating” features a colorful skull filled with junk food, a comment on what he sees as the reality of modern society.

“Today many of us live to eat, but what is the ultimate purpose of living?” he asks. “This is an irony toward others, and me included.”

There is a rare maturity in Cai’s works, especially when most young people of today are attracted by the material life, shying away from the heavy subject of life and death.

But he is particularly interested in this profound topic.

In his video “Those Bygone Beautiful Memories,” Cai collected the life and death stories of different people and put them into pure white balloons.

These balloons filled with “history” are bundled on specimens of different birds, evoking a poetic feel of regret and melancholy.

“I love a saying by British philosopher David Hume – ‘The beauty of things exists in the mind which contemplates them’,” Cai says with a smile.

Exhibition detail

Date: Through August 30, 11am-5pm

Address: Rm 101, Bldg 4, 50 Moganshan Rd

Ti Gong
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