Artist Cai Guo Jie was born in Taiwan and moved to Macau in 2011 when he and his wife decided to settle down. He started developing his art as he grew older, now focusing on painting, art installation, curating, and teaching. Overlook the Macau City, hosted at the AFA, Macau, is a recent exhibition featuring his paintings.
What is your connection to Macau?
Actually, my wife is Macanese, I met her in Taiwan. She went there to study and that’s how we met. Then we discussed how we are going to live together, eventually, we ended up deciding to settle down in Macau.
How did you develop your interest in art?
I love drawing when I was little, then when I grew up I developed my art style into this direction, I also love to make tea as a hobby. This hobby also developed my art as well.
How would you describe your style?
I think I’m more of an observer, sometimes we use our words to say our message but I like to use my style through my artwork that I observe in the culture.
As for your exhibition, it’s been a few years since the last one, in Beijing?
Yeah, my solo was in Beijing, and then I also had a duo exhibition with another artist last year, also held in AFA, it was called Happiness.
Where did you get the inspiration for this one?
Actually, I had this idea when I traveled to Lisbon, Portugal in 2014. I climbed to a high view and saw the whole cityscape of Lisbon. so I got inspired by that view and started this series and drew scenery from a peak view. I had this idea for three years and now and I finally have some pieces to show.
Why use watercolor for this exhibition?
Actually, I mainly use watercolor for my artworks. I’m also used to sketching but I’ll mainly use watercolor.
What is your favorite piece from this exhibition?
I think it’s the “Overlooking by the Window”. I love the color and also the feel and the structure of the piece—that one is my favorite.
What is your procedure for new work? Do you visit a location with equipment? Do you draft it first?
Every time I go to paint a picture, I go to the area and take several pictures of the target I want and use that as a reference.
Since most of the paintings are in Macau, do you have a specific location in Macau that you love going back to?
It’s a street full of cultural stores, near the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
What are your future plans?
I will be joining an art fair in May and I will have a summer exhibition in Shenzhou, maybe in June or July. Later this year around October, I will have a joint exhibition with some Macau artists in Osaka, Japan.