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Go to Beijing UCCA! Interpret the general rules of Xu Bing's thinking and methods!

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Xu Bing: Thoughts and Methods

2018.7.21 – 2018.10.18

UCCA Grand Exhibition Hall, Middle Exhibition Hall, Ramp, Lobby

"Xu Bing: Thoughts and Methods" was jointly curated by UCCA curator Tian Yuyu and guest curator Feng Boyi. This exhibition is the most comprehensive solo exhibition of artists in Beijing in recent years.

Whether it is the "Tianshu" series and the "Ghost Wall" from the late 1980s

The English Blocks of the 1990s and the Behind The Story

Still the most recent works such as "Eye of the Eyes"

Xu Bing's creation is based on a long process of extensive research work.

Focus on many issues for decades and continues to this day

The artist inherits the essence of simplicity and wisdom of oriental culture.

But face the world in a broader sense

His work is forward-looking and alert

At the same time, under the appearance of his works seemingly screaming west and dislocation

Touched on multiple social issues and cultural categories

Multi-level questions and reflections in their works

Provide the audience with a variety of access and exploration channels

Xu Bing produced "Tianshu" in Beijing Daxing Caiyu Township Ancient Books Printing Factory, 1988

Twenty years ago, "Tianshu" was a book that everyone, including Xu Bing, could not read. "Globe" is a book that anyone who speaks a language can read.

Xu Bing, "Tianshu", 1987–1991, integrated media device, variable size. National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, 1998) exhibition site


Xu Bing said, "The two books that look very different have something in common. No matter what language you speak or whether you are educated, they treat everyone in the world equally. "The Book of Heaven" I regret the existing text. And this "Land Book" expresses the ideal of the universal verse I have been looking for. I know that this ideal is a bit too big, but the significance is to try to do it."

The empty mountains are not seen, but they smell people. Return to the deep forest, and revisit the moss.

Xu Bing, "Rong Wah Fugui", 2011, 660,000 "1st class" brand cigarettes, variable size. Virginia Art Museum (Richmond, 2011) exhibition site


"Rong Wah Fugui" is a huge tiger skin carpet made up of 660,000 cigarettes. The tiger skin is particularly symbolic. The colonists went to Africa and hunting in Asia. The most typical commemorative photo is a tiger skin carpet in front, which is also a metaphor for this image to appear in this plan. This "carpet" is drunk and has a domineering spirit of emerging capitalism and a desire for money and power. Much like the feeling of today's China. Because it uses the "Ronghua Fugui" brand cigarettes, this brand of cigarettes is almost the cheapest, a pack of RMB.

Interestingly, the smoke used in making this work in Virginia is Fest Class, a pack of dollars.

Xu Bing, "Ghost Wall", exhibited at the "Landmark - Mapping Chinese Contemporary Art"


Xu Bing tried to transfer the three-dimensional object to the two-dimensional plane to obtain a new conversion concept, so that the print is no longer limited by plate making or size. A certain stage of the past has been retained in one way and became the description of that period of time. The unique part of any time period is worth cherishing, which may be the value of art.

The dust settled and there were two lines of Zen on the ground: "There is nothing in the world, where is the dust?"


“Where is the dust” was first exhibited at the “Artes Mundi Art Award” project at the National Museum of Wales in the UK. Xu Bing blows the dust collected in the 9/11 incident to the exhibition hall. After 24 hours of settlement, on the ground of the exhibition hall, two white lines of Chinese 7th century Zen are displayed by grayish white dust: “There is nothing in the world. Dust in the dust." The exhibition hall is covered with a layer of frost-like uniform and thin dust, which has a quiet and solemn beauty, but this tranquility gives a deep feeling of pain and tension; even if it is a breeze, the "status" will change. .

Xu Bing, "Eye of the Eyes" (still frame), 2017, video, 81 minutes


Xu Bing started with "Tian Shu" and his work showed a huge sense of volume. This sense of volume is intrinsic and sometimes manifests itself. From the more than 3,000 pseudo-Chinese characters in "Tianshu", the massive universal graphic symbols in "Golden Book", hundreds of Great Wall bricks in "Ghost Wall", and the 9/11 incident in "Where is the dust" Dust to the surveillance video in "Eye of the Eyes".

Xu Bing, photography: Zhang Mo


Xu Bing collects the symbols scattered in the daily life, reassembles, sorts, and makes a new thing.

As one of the most influential artists on the international stage, Xu Bing has been committed to transforming between Eastern and Western cultures, transcending cultural boundaries, and expressing his ideas and realities in visual language.

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