ARTIST TALK: XU BING
Friday, April 26, 2013, 5pm
Free to Williams Students, Faculty and Staff and MASS MoCA Members
$8 general admission to lecture and reception
Sponsored by Williams College Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Department of Asian Studies with generous funding from the James A. Linen III 1934 Fund and the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Program for Democratic Studies. Additional support provided by Mr. & Mrs. Robert I. Lipp.
In conjunction with his new exhibition at MASS MoCA Xu Bing: Phoenix, the artist will discuss his work of the past twenty years, and in particular will address the events surrounding the making of his controversial Phoenix Project. Drawing inspiration from the contemporary realities of his fast-changing country, Chinese artist Xu Bing spent two years creating his Phoenix. The installation at MASS MoCA features two monumental birds fabricated entirely from materials harvested from construction sites in urban China, including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers. On April 27th, the museum will open an additional gallery devoted to Xu Bing’s work, including calligraphic works from his Square Word series, Book from the Ground, a research-based project based on internationally-recognizable symbols, computer icons and other elements of graphic-based language, and a new video animation in which Xu Bing comments on the Chinese character through a seventeen minute hand-animated video, to be projected on a screen over 25’ wide.
Also in conjunction with Xu Bing: Phoenix, the Sackler|Freer Gallery, the Smithsonian Institutions Museum of Asian Art will open a show in Washington D.C. focusing on the artists use of the Phoenix, and its relationship to other mythological creatures in Chinese art history.
Xu Bing will lecture in Mandarin, with English translation. There will be a short question and answer session following his illustrated talk in the B-10 Theatre, and reception in the gallery.