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xu bing artworks
Chinese Printmaker, Calligrapher, Installation Artist and Filmmaker, Made up of 4,000 hand-carved and printed characters, Book from the Sky remains Xu Bing's most iconic work to date. His artwork “The Book from the Sky” was an arrangement of large pieces of paper, which appeared to be covered in Chinese calligraphy, but in fact were meaningless symbols. Xu's former colleague, Ai Weiwei earlier took on themes of state surveillance by creating faux cameras carved in marble for his series of anti-monuments. The owners of Château Mouton Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, commissioned the label for the 2018 vintage from the Chinese artist and writer Xu Bing (b. See available prints and multiples, works on paper, and installation for sale and learn about the artist. How are our actions and behavior perceived? In his series Background Story, Xu Bing uses unusual materials in order to create a deceptively typical Chinese Scroll Painting. He also reflects on the generational differences which have gradually de-valued materials and objects over time, stating that his mother "hesitates to throw away even the smallest things," but that now our 'throwaway culture' means much of what could be useful goes to waste. Pioneering Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing creates powerful, poignant mixed-media … The wall panels, hanging scrolls and books which create the space conjure an atmosphere of almost religious sanctity and safety, with the whiteness of the paper evoking a purity of spirit, and their neat rows of black print permeate an aura of authority and knowledge. The owners of Bordeaux first-growth Château Mouton-Rothschild—Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild—have unveiled the label for the 2018 vintage, created by contemporary Chinese artist and writer Xu Bing. The book is the first in YT’s “Art 101” series, which centers on a set of questions posed to artists, helping them to relate better, and be more relatable, to readers. Xu grew up in Beijing, where he began his studies in the printmaking department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1977. In his youth, Bing's experience of language was one of two worlds - at home, he practiced the fine art of literati calligraphy which was so respected by Imperial Chinese values, whilst in his capacity as student and worker, he created banners and posters in the government's simplified, direct style. See more ideas about chinese contemporary art, chinese art, bing. More interesting than the narrative he contrives from the curated footage, is the technique through which the story is told, and the revelation of just how intrusive public surveillance has become. Fascinated with visual and written languages, Xu builds mixed-media installations that simultaneously evoke and subvert centuries-old Chinese cultural traditions, such as calligraphy, wood-block printing, and landscape painting scrolls. The installation of the work allows the viewer to go behind the work and see behind the illusion. 1999-2011 Living Word. Culturally, he explores his identity as both Chinese and American, bridging the gap in some examples through writing out simple nursery rhymes in this format, and in others poignant slogans about freedom of expression. "Brush and Ink: The Chinese Art of Writing," September 2, 2006–January 21, 2007. ", Books and scrolls printed from carved wood types, ink on paper - Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan. Courtesy of Xu Bing Studio. Both following and questioning this "venerated tradition" is a constant theme throughout Xu's works up until the early 2000s, stemming from his scholastic upbringing, and his appreciation of the physicality of books and writing which he learnt through spending days on end in Peking University's library reading rooms, where his mother would send him while she worked. Britta Erickson, "Mistrust of Language and the Book from the Sky" in her Words Without Meaning, Meaning Without Words: The Art of Xu Bing (Seattle: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and University of Washington Press, 2001), p. 33–45. This change was perhaps prompted the drastic change he experienced upon his return to China after almost 20 years away - the Phoenix Project therefore not only asks the viewer to question the work's contextual background, but also acts as a meditation for the artist on his identity with the country and culture in which he spent his formative years. The viewer must confront and overcomes their initial assumptions over the course of experiencing this work, as the transition from the front to the rear of the piece takes us from what is known and recognizable to a wholly unexpected understanding of its essence. In 1999, Xu Bing was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his “capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.” In 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Department of State-Medal of Arts for his efforts to promote cultural understanding through his artworks. Xu Bing: Tobacco Project explores the production and culture of tobacco as seen through the eyes of one of China’s most innovative contemporary artists.The exhibition combines important pieces from the artist’s earlier projects at Duke University in North Carolina and the Shanghai Gallery of Art in China with new work inspired by visits to tobacco farms, warehouses, and … From the front, the piece very much resembles a traditional Shan Shui (Landscape) scroll painting, with images of mountains, trees, and rivers. The  Foolish  Old  Man  Who  Tried  to  Remove  the  Mountain, Landscripts  from  the  Himalayan  Journal, American  Silkworm  Series  4:  Silkworm  VCR, American  Silkworm  Series  3:  The  Opening, An  introduction  to  Square  Word  Calligraphy, American  Silkworm  Series  1:  Silkworm  Books. Xu Bing: El Pozo de la Verdad/The Well of Truth. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Lying in contrast to the humble origins of its components, the Phoenix pair is traditionally a symbol of union between male and female, the yin and yang. ", Print on paper - Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan. Art for the People; Ghost Pounding the Wall; Stone Path; Purple Breeze Comes from the East ; Ergo Dynamic Desktop; The Well of Truth ; The Glassy Surface of a Lake ; ... Xu Bing Phoenix (MA) 2008 - 2010 / 2012 2011. Using traditional ink work techniques, the characters again appear to be Chinese at first glance. The artist observes that, "in general, society is shaped by new technology. This comment relates specifically to the differences between the West and Bing's home country, which he notes maintains a penchant for frugality and recycling. Through May 24, 2015 . Xu Bing has successfully built his international reputation as one of the leading Chinese avant-garde artists for his custom-designed Chinese calligraphy and other well-received series. In 2004, Xu Bing embarked in a new direction, moving away from his language-based works with a series, titled Background Story, of mixed-media installations. Pioneering Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing creates powerful, poignant mixed-media installations, in which he subverts systems of language, upending expectations and perception. Focusing on drawing and printmaking, Xu earned a BA in 1981, as well as an MFA in 1987. Kai Yin-Lo comments on this by observing that, "while well versed in tradition, and in the culture and mores of the Communist regime, Xu Bing also poses cerebral and representational challenges to their validity and values." The Book from the Sky is one of the most intriguing Chinese art installations of the century and the nifty work of none other than the celebrated Chinese artist Xu Bing. This complicated installation required a complete reworking as the first edition hangs in one chain. Xu Bing actively encouraged input from the laborers and he, or rather they, turned the discarded into the majestic, using metals and debris sourced at numerous sites across China into a pair of towering sculptures of the mythic phoenixes, one reaching 100-feet in length, and the other 90 feet, with a combined weight of 12 tons. May 20, 2014 - Explore Idmen Liu's board "Xu Bing", followed by 2449 people on Pinterest. Employing traditional methods of … ©2021 The Art Story Foundation. For Ai Weiwei, the work recalls the artist's own confrontation with the Chinese government as he discovered surveillance cameras and listening devices had been installed within his own studio in the months leading to his detainment. Xu Bing (Chinese: 徐冰; pinyin: Xú Bīng; born 1955) is a Chinese artist who served as vice-president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In this newest phase of artistic experimentation, Xu Bing poses an unnerving question that plagues contemporary post-industrial societies: Who is watching us? The work is a massive installation of hundreds of volumes and scrolls printed with 4,000 imagined Chinese characters, which … Xu Bing accompanied the ART in Embassies team to Beijing to installat the second edition of “Monkeys Grasping for the Moon” in 2008. Where previously influenced by the upheavals experienced during the Cultural Revolution, his work now focused on contemporary social concerns. Approaching the five-foot-tall piece, small clues suggest that things are not as simple as they first seem; instead of the traditional ink work on paper, objects appear to visually fall behind the surface of the paper. Using simple pictograms, currently in popular and public usage across the world, his book is, theoretically, universally understandable. In 1977 he entered the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) where completed his Bachelor’s degree in 1981, staying on as an instructor and earning his MFA in 1987. The Phoenix Project marks a transition in Bing's artistic career. As such, the Phoenix pair have since traveled the world, from the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 to Massachusetts MOCA to St. John's Cathedral in New York in 2014, before heading out to hover over the timeworn canals of Italy for the 2015 Venice Biennale. This, states Charlie Bennett of Aesthetica, points to a certain frustration with contemporary consumer culture, and recognition that "companies are creating a global, visual language but they also do very little to offset the anxieties of modern life. Background Story 7. However, realizing the nonsensical nature of the characters redefines this feeling of calm into bewilderment. [Xu Bing] is best known for his stunningly beautiful yet pessimistic 1988 installation Tianshu (the book of the sky). The illusionistic works challenge the viewer's perception. Unfortunately, the developers were not pleased with the artist's choice of materials, and underlying social critique, and refused to accept the finished work. New York. "Brush and Ink: The Chinese Art of Writing," September 2, 2006–January 21, 2007. He explains that his works “are all linked by a common thread, which is to construct some kind of obstacle to people's habitual ways of thinking—what I call the ‘cognitive structures’ of the mind.” "Book from the Ground transcends culture, and it is modern and international," explains Bing on his intention to create a work capable of crossing of traditional cultural boundaries. The developers envisioned the collaboration with the internationally renowned artist as a crowning achievement to enhance the building's sleek, futuristic design. With its universal aspirations, it suggests an optimistic embrace digital and mass communication as a means to achieve linguistic harmony. Ink on paper - Anonymous private collection. The small, 112-page book is simply designed, with rows of arrows and symbols leading the reader through a day in the life of "Mr. Black," a generic character who fits neither generational nor cultural categories. Instead it is composed entirely of surveillance footage, framing the story of its female protagonist Qing Ting ('dragonfly' in Mandarin), who leaves her life as a nun behind to work in a milk factory, and is then followed across various other urban locations, at the same time chronicling a love story between herself and an ex-colleague. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. However, his meticulous positioning and stylistic play with the letters has rendered words into the square shapes which characterize the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy, with the works speaking "to the problems [he] encountered in a foreign country" Still affected by the linguistic upheavals of the Cultural Revolution, Bing here explores our perception of language further, whilst incorporating his experiences with learning English. Xu Bing wanted to hang the recycled birds from the immaculate and architecturally magnificent building in order to create contrast and raise ideas regarding the schism between wealth and labour. As with his other works, this piece presents a duality of issues, as Xu ponders the negative, almost brainwashing effects of social media, big businesses and global brands which permeate every facet of urban life. In keeping with his previous work with calligraphy, which challenged the audience's preconceived ideas about their surroundings whilst maintaining a reverence of tradition, Xu Bing's Background Story series employs traditional Chinese aesthetics to promote this same inquisitive mindset. Co-presented by the Smart Museum of Art … The site, polluted with trash and discarded construction materials, became a gold mine - much like Robert Rauschenberg, an influence of Xu, whose early assemblage works consisted of materials culled from trash duty during his years at The Black Mountain College. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," December 9, 2013–April 6, 2014 This critique of modern Western behaviors lies in contrast to his later critiques of industrial China. "When I discovered Xu Bing, I was captivated by him as an inventor of signs endowed with … The second edition hangs in four strands and each strand had to be reconfigured. This inherent critique of surveillance evokes his youth in Maoist China, where public and private behaviors were scrutinized. Installation of books and scrolls printed from carved wood types of invented characters, ink on paper, dimensions variable. Xu Bing joins the ranks of Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney with his 2018 label. Tobacco Project: Richmond. Book from the Ground represents an innovative and contemporary means of communication and maintains a consistency with the artist's exploration of language. One of the most important contemporary Chinese artists working today, Xu Bing investigates the limitations and corruptibility of language by creating artworks that put words to absurd ends, sometimes fabricating nonsense languages that seem persuasive on first glance, other time bringing Chinese characters to inert life as sculpture. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," December 9, 2013–April 6, 2014 Xu Bing’s studio also made a character database software that corresponds to the language of the book. View Xu Bing’s 394 artworks on artnet. The Allure of Matter brings together works, many monumental in scale, that draw on a range of unique and humble materials, from plastic to water, ash, hair, and silk. One of his best-known works, Book from the Sky (1987–1991), earned Xu international recognition in the 1980s. However, these sculptures ask the viewer to look beyond traditional Chinese iconography to find additional layers of meaning, such as the opposition of civilization and the natural world. Instead of ink on paper, Xu Bing has placed plant fibers, hemp, paper and other debris against a frosted glass screen, backlit to transform these ordinary materials into something majestic. At the seminal 1989 exhibition, Xu Bing exhibited his sprawling and now-iconic installation, originally titled Fenxi Shijie de Shu (A book that analyzes the world), better known today as Tianshu or Book from the Sky. The work is a massive installation of hundreds of volumes and scrolls printed with 4,000 imagined Chinese characters, which … The second edition hangs in four strands and each strand had to be reconfigured. Xu Bing creates contemporary artworks using Chinese calligraphy and other traditional Chinese media placed within unexpected settings. This installation comprises a set of 4 hand-printed books, as well as wall and ceiling scrolls printed in the style of a wood letterpress. Only now, he demonstrates how easily the actions of individuals can be manipulated to create a false narrative, just as language once was. Excuse  Me  Sir,Can  You  Tell  Me  the  Way  to  Asia  Society? When approached from the front, the work appears as if the artist has mounted a large-scale monochromatic, traditional Chinese landscape painting on a light box. Exhibited "Book from the Sky: a work by Xu Bing" PUAM, February 15-May 18 (extended to July 14), 2002 In 2008, Bing received a commission to create a sculptural installation for the World Financial Centre in Beijing, then in its initial stages of construction. Instead of accomplishing any worthwhile objectives, Mr. Black, much like the simplistic icon by which he is represented, represents the shallow nature of rampant consumerism as he frets about brand-name clothing and where to eat while browsing social media, instead of pursuing meaningful activities. By creating a written world of nonsense in the guise of an age-old authority, he recreates his own sense of confusion when growing up through changes to language, by which he lived in two worlds, creating Maoist propaganda slogans at school, and being taught the traditional scholastic canon by his historian father at home. Plant material, hemp fibers and newspaper on backlit glass - British Museum, London, UK. The artwork for the 2018 label reflects the artist’s work on the illusory splendour of appearances as manifested by his Square … For the Chinese audience in particular, Xu's Book from the Sky is profoundly disorientating. Xu Bing is known for pushing political and social boundaries within his culture. Dan Cameron, former curator at the New Museum, explains: "the use of time-honored techniques to teach people a new way to write in English might be taken as an homage to a venerated tradition." The artwork for the 2018 label reflects the artist’s work on the illusory splendour of appearances as manifested by his Square … "The imagination and beauty of the installation, as well as Xu's serious approach, were often commended," art historian Stanley K. Abe describes in his 1998 … Xu Bing Biography. In 2007, as Xu Bing returned to China from the United States, the work was included with "'85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art" exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Bing continued to work with the written word after his move to the USA in 1990. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of my favorite artworks is Xu Bing’s 1st Class (2011), a rug made from half-a-million cigarettes.They stand leaning against each other on the floor to form a 40-by-15-foot “tiger pelt,” the stripes changing from tobacco-brown to filter-orange as you move around the piece. Creating a film from pre-existing surveillance footage, Xu Bing takes a critical look at the power of the state, focusing on surveillance and mass viewing instead of linguistic propaganda or barriers. Today Art Museum, Beijing, China 2004. Xu does, however, maintain an appreciation for the country's long cultural traditions through using powerful mythological figures, still revered to this day. Thus, Xu employs the symbols to comment on China's social and environmental issues, stating that "the materials which make up the Phoenix closely reflect the problems facing China," including the rapid industrialization of the rural geography, an increasingly throwaway culture, and a lack of value for manual laborers. A fictional thriller, Dragonfly Eyes is a feature-length film, but created using no crew, props or actors. Users can enter words either in English or in Chinese, and the program will translate them into Xu Bing's lexicon of signs. First realized in the form of a 604-page, 4-volume book, Xu Bing replicated its content to become an immersive installation piece. Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, China in 1955. In 2018, The New York Times estimated that China has an estimated 200 million surveillance cameras, with many utilizing "facial recognition and artificial intelligence to identify and track 1.4 billion people." However, instead of frustration with the dichotomies of language, Xu expresses a desire for harmony in his Square Word Calligraphy. PROJECT BY: Xu Bing (China) BIOGRAPHY: Currently serving as a Cornell A. D. White Professor-at-Large (2015-2021), Xu Bing works across artistic disciplines and cultural interventions to touch the fields of public and ecological art, printmaking, … He is known for his printmaking skills and installation art, as well as his creative artistic use of language, words, and text and how they have affected our understanding of the world. The owners of Château Mouton Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, commissioned the label for the 2018 vintage from the Chinese artist and writer Xu Bing (b. Xu Bing, “Book from the Sky,” ca. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2001-2011. Using what appears to be a variety of traditional brushstroke techniques, the artist composes a scene with alum lump rocks in the foreground, with a series of rounded hills rising and receding into the distance, complete with the requisite pine trees, with a small residence tucked away, ideally on the lakeside, in the center of the image. One of his best-known works, Book from the Sky (1987–1991), earned Xu international recognition in the 1980s. "Xu Bing Artist Overview and Analysis". Ghosts Pounding the Wall-Xu Bing's Work. New York. New York. 1955). After visiting for initial research, however, Xu Bing was not inspired, but appalled by the disparity of the wealth of the buildings and the working conditions for the migrant laborers, many of whom lived on the site. Instead of turning away, the artist used the project as an opportunity for transformation. As part of cultural reform, the Maoist government simplified written Chinese, whilst also diverging from the subtlety and delicacy of its traditional use in their propaganda slogans, which were direct and aggressive. Xu Bing accompanied the ART in Embassies team to Beijing to installat the second edition of “Monkeys Grasping for the Moon” in 2008. With multiple levels of meaning attached to Background Story, Xu Bing primarily prompts us to question our surroundings, as he did in his calligraphic work, so that we are continuously aware of what is real, and what is merely a mirage - he wants us to realize that our external world, contrary to our belief, is ever-changing and transformative. Erickson, a specialist on contemporary Chinese art, elucidates clearly Bing's iconoclastic and irreverent work, relating it to themes Bing has used elsewhere in his career. Be Chinese at first glance feeling of calm into bewilderment, Spain Xu Bing 徐冰 Bing is feature-length! The upheavals experienced during the Cultural Revolution, his Book is, theoretically, universally understandable feeling of into...: Who is watching us complicated installation required a complete reworking as the first hangs... No crew, props or actors envisioned the collaboration with the English dictionary definition for bird required a reworking. 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