All Exhibitions
Xu Bing: Found in Translation
2021-12-24 - 2022-11-13
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About the Exhibition

Xu Bing: Found in Translation is a large-scale, monographic, research-oriented solo exhibition on the work of the artist Xu Bing. Opened at the Museum of Art Pudong on December 24, 2021, this exhibition highlights Xu Bing's distinctive system of artistic concept and practice. With the written language and artistic language as central clues, Xu Bing: Found in Translation showcases the breadths and depths of Xu Bing's work, its academic theories and distinguishing intellectual essence. Departing from the works of art, this show also surveys the significance and value of Chinese culture in the new global context, as well as its positive impact on the making of the world's civilization today.


On view on the first and third floors of MAP are works of Xu Bing spanning from the 1980s to his most recent works, which includes more than 70 of his best-known works, along with print editions, installations, archival records, manuscripts, videos, and documentaries. The exhibition's structure consists of three main sections: The Study of the Written language, The Comparitive Language of Writing and Painting, and New Methodologies of Art. The inner connection between the works is disclosed through the logical organization of exhibition, customized modes of display and the telling artist statements. The exhibition begins on the first floor with Book from the Sky, unfolding the infinite possibilities of the written language through various works with such as Monkeys Grasps for the Moon, Square Word Calligraphy, The Seven-character Poetry Collection of Small Enterprises, Book from the Ground and so on. The exhibition hall on the third floor brings together works such as Square Word Calligraphy Classroom, Background Story, Mustard Seed Garden Landscape Scroll, The Character of Characters, Phoenix, Tobacco Project, Dragonfly Eyes and other works. Through the exploration of artistic language extracted from multiple cultural backgrounds, on-site social energy and diverse use of media, the exhibition thoroughly opens up the audience's perception of art and elevates the pleasure of thinking.


From his artistic practice of more than forty years, Xu Bing has always been highly perceptive to the situated time that he finds himself in, intricately committing his work to its contemporary social significance. Through the creative process that departs from craftsmanship to thought, before making its way back to craftsmanship, Xu Bing's work seeks to achieve the coalescence and balance between "art" and "technique". The diversity and penetrating power of artistic media in Xu Bing's works are highly recognized in the global contemporary art world, elevating the overall structure and standing of Chinese contemporary art to various extents. Most importantly, through his own literati-like vocabularies of humour and wisdom, the spiritual core of Xu Bing's art transforms and reconstructs people's fixed perceptions, activates and refurbishes conventional ways of thinking, prompting new perspectives that take people to new places.


The exhibition is academically advised by Professor Hans De Wolf from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, and designed by young artists Sun Hua, Feng Yu and Zhao Yifeng from the AHA Union team.

Installation Images
Selected Works
Audio Guide

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