Cai Guo-Qiang has been known as 蔡國強 in Japan, and many (or most?) of us still pronounce his name ‘さい・こっきょう’, which sounds terribly different from the real pronunciation. The way he is called in the US is closer to Chinese, but I suppose the artist wouldn’t mind the way Japanese call his name since he had spent the early part of his career in Japan (before moving to New York) long enough to think he has a Japanese name. What is probably most important about his name is the meaning of it, and as a Japanese, I see the two characters of his given name as awe-inspiring, just like his art. 國強 means “Powerful Nation.”



Cai Guo-Qiang/ I Want to Believe @ Guggenheim Museum
(Link to the visual documents of the incredible installation process at Guggenheim Museum)