Feb 22nd 2016

Xu Bing is a pioneering contemporary artist, known for making mixed-media installations that subvert systems of language, meaning, and tradition. Originally trained in printmaking, Xu Bing has a conceptual practice that has taken many forms, including meaningless Chinese characters, an American font that looks “Chinese,” a “language” made up entirely of emoticons, and giant phoenix sculptures made from construction debris. Currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago, Wu Street (1993), made collaboratively with the artist Ai Weiwei, slyly questions the misunderstandings inherent within the internationalization of the art world as art history and artworks travel around the globe. Presented in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Museum Education and SAIC’s Printmedia department.

Xu Bing, Book from the Sky, 1987-1991, hand printed books, ceiling and wall scrolls printed from wood letterpress type using false Chinese characters, dimensions variable. Installation view at Crossings, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (1998). Courtesy of Xu Bing Studio.

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