A Talk with Xu Bing
How does language define culture? What does it mean to strip meaning from language? The art of Xu Bing raises these stirring questions. Globally known for his contemporary and dynamic style, the renowned Chinese artist will make a special appearance at the Asian Art Museum to talk about influences on his art, specifically his works since 2008. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.
Xu Bing often explores language and meaning, and how they can be easily manipulated. For his Book of the Sky (1988), a monumental installation using traditional Chinese printing and bookmaking methods, the artist invented a lexicon of characters, which he hand-carved into typesetting blocks and printed on books, panels, and scrolls. The characters appear authentic but are totally meaningless.
After more than 20 years living in the US, Xu Bing returned to China in 2008 to assume his current position, vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at the Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Joan Mir?? Foundation, Barcelona; and elsewhere. His work appears in high school and college textbooks around the world.
Xu Bing received a MacArthur 'Genius Award' in 1999 for his originality, creativity, and capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy. In 2003 he was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, and in 2004 the Artes Mundi, the first Wales International Visual Art Prize. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Columbia University.