Cai Guo-Qiang is one of the most prominent living Chinese artists. Trained in theatre design, in 1999 he won the International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale. He is best known for his firework-based set-piece installations and for drawings made using ink and gunpowder. In November, a set of 14 untitled drawings by the artist sold at Christie’s, Hong Kong, for £9.5m ($19.1m)—setting a new record for a Chinese contemporary artist at auction. This month the Guggenheim in New York, hosts Cai’s first major retrospective, I Want to Believe.