Xu Bing 徐冰

Chinese, b. 1955

1,940 followers
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Xu Bing 徐冰

Chinese, b. 1955

1,940
Followers
Biography

Pioneering Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing creates powerful, poignant mixed-media installations, in which he subverts systems of language, upending expectations and perception. 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.” Trained as a printmaker, Xu is informed by the Cultural Revolution, Chan Buddhism, and his keen interest in the relationship between meaning and words, writing, and reading. He has famously re-invented Chinese characters and the English alphabet, rendering Chinese nonsensical and English into legible Chinese characters, effectively challenging comprehension of both. In Book from the Sky (1987-91), Xu filled a gallery with scrolls and books hand-printed with 4,000 “false” Chinese characters—a stunning commentary on the subjectivity of language and its meaning.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Bienal de Sao Paulo, and 6 more
Biography

Pioneering Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing creates powerful, poignant mixed-media installations, in which he subverts systems of language, upending expectations and perception. 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.” Trained as a printmaker, Xu is informed by the Cultural Revolution, Chan Buddhism, and his keen interest in the relationship between meaning and words, writing, and reading. He has famously re-invented Chinese characters and the English alphabet, rendering Chinese nonsensical and English into legible Chinese characters, effectively challenging comprehension of both. In Book from the Sky (1987-91), Xu filled a gallery with scrolls and books hand-printed with 4,000 “false” Chinese characters—a stunning commentary on the subjectivity of language and its meaning.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Bienal de Sao Paulo, and 6 more
Articles Featuring Xu Bing 徐冰
What Sold at Art Basel in Hong Kong
Mar 31st, 2018
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