Taiwan-based sculptor Long-Bin Chen considers himself an “international artistic nomad” who travels the world to create and display his works of art. He transforms old telephone directories, magazines, books, and other printed material into sculptures of human heads, figures, and even representations of hurricanes. He also creates replicas of ancient stone monuments, mummies, weapons, and tools. Long-Bin’s work addresses a wide range of social, political, and personal themes. The artist wants to draw attention to his fear that humans are over-consuming the Earth’s resources. He is also troubled by societies throughout the world that are placing less value on books and written words in favor of technology. Long-Bin is interested in building viewers’ understandings of different cultures. He honors Buddha in his sculpture and refers to China’s cultural icons such as its ancient warriors. He is influenced by the international communities he visits and incorporates imagery from various nations into his work.
Long-Bin revisits artifacts that have become obsolete, reminding us that these materials transmit important cultural information. His recycled-book sculptures often take on the look of old stone or untreated wood, suggesting his fascination with the materials of ancient artifacts. The printed material he selects for his sculptures adds to their meaning. For example, the Buddha heads he created from telephone directories were designed as a symbolic container to hold the names of all the people in the books and bring them under Buddha’s care and compassion. Long-Bin was the first international artist to show his work at Kidspace. He conducted art-making workshops with all of the Pre-K–5th-grade students from Greylock, Sullivan, and Brayton Elementary Schools in North Adams.
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