Cai Yixi

1947 - 2008

Artist biography

Cai Yixi was a creative visual artist, Cai Yixi, born in 1947, died in 2008. Artists born in the same year and of the same generation are Channa Bankier, Luigi Buso, Reidun Angell, Fred Åberg, and Valery Bakharev.

Further Biographical Context for Cai Yixi

Born in 1947, Cai Yixi's creative work was largely inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an outburst of new philosophies and movements, truly sensational and spectacular. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact internationally, largely defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the physical world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was an essential by-product of the latter, at the same time critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.