In January 2014 Taipei Fine Arts Museum presents Xu Bing: A Retrospective, Asia’s first large-scale solo exhibition of international contemporary artist Xu Bing, curated by senior curator and art critic Chia Chi Jason Wang. Xu Bing has been actively pursuing art for four decades, from 1975 to today. In 1991 he exhibited A Book from the Sky and Ghosts Pounding the Wall at the Elvehjem Museum of Art on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, a key event that laid the foundation for his artistic accomplishments and status. He infuses his contemporary art with Eastern philosophy and culture. His works engage in critical thinking about the written word and other tools of communication, the nature of art and civilization, and similarities and conflicts among different species and cultures. His works span such forms as print, paper, performance art and large-scale installations. From traditional wood carving to installation art, from incomprehensible block lettering to using animals as media, from his “Landscript” realistic landscape paintings to examinations of the textual language and symbolism of Chinese characters, his artworks possess great breadth, depth and diversity. Presented on the ground floor of Taipei Fine Arts Museum, this exhibition features including major art pieces from his early period to the present day, new works and large-scale site-specific installations.
Xu Bing traces his family roots to Wenling, Zhejiang province. He was born in Chongqing, China in 1955. In 1977 he entered the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) where completed his bachelor’s degree in 1981 and stayed on as an instructor, earning his MFA in 1987. In 1990, on the invitation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to the United States. Xu currently serves as the Vice President of CAFA.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Joan Miro Foundation, Spain; National Gallery of Prague and the Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas, amongst other major institutions. Additionally, Xu Bing has shown at the 45th and 51st Venice Biennales; the Biennale of Sydney and the Johannesburg Biennale amongst other international exhibitions.
Over the years, Xu Bing’s work has appeared in high-school and college text-books around the world including Abram’s “Art Past – Art Present,” Gardner’s “Art Through the Ages” and Greg Clunas’s “Chinese Art” a volume in the “Oxford History of Art” series, Jane Farver’s Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s – 1980s (Queens Museum of Art Press) and Art Worlds in Dialogue (Museum Ludwig Press). In 2006, the Princeton University Press published “Persistence/Transformation: Text as Image in the Art of Xu Bing” a multidisciplinary study of Xu Bing’s landmark work “Book from the Sky.” In 2008, Professor Robert Harrist, Chair of Chinese Art at Columbia University, New York, began teaching a graduate seminar entitled “The Art of Xu Bing.” London bookseller Bernard Quaritch publishes “Tianshu: Passages in the Making of a Book,” a monographic study of Book from the Sky.
In 1989, Xu Bing is honored with the Huo Yingdong Education Foundation Award from the China National Education Association for his contribution to art education. In 1999, Xu Bing was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his “capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.” In 2003 Xu Bing was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, and in 2004 he won the first Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi. In 2006, the Southern Graphics Council awarded Xu Bing their lifetime achievement award in recognition of the fact that his, “use of text, language and books has impacted the dialogue of the print and art worlds in significant ways.” “Art in America” listed Xu Bing, along with 15 others, in their annual Year in Review. Is awarded Doctor of Humane Letters by Columbia University in 2010.
About the exhibition
Dates: 2014/01/25 – 2014/04/20
Venue: Gallery 1A&1B, Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Courtesy of the artist and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, for further information, please visit www.tfam.museum.