Further Biographical Context for Cai Yunfei
Cai Yunfei was born in 1946 and was predominantly influenced by the 1960s. In the art world, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, adopting the culture of mass media through the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was slowly breaking down the bases on which the creation and reception of art were built. Getting inspired from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists rejected the authority of highbrow art and created a revolutionary movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional manifestation and focused on art’s theoretical aspect – aiming for pure visual responses. Honesty and an void of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, embodied by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on delivering artworks mainly composed of polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. The very first blossoming of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the purity of Minimalism but went further in rejecting all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to achieve by elevating popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily persuaded by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the lament often associated with the human condition. globally, an important number of art movements echoed with the radical changes of the 1960s, often prone to their own regional distinctions. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni created Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group embraced similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.