Xu Bing, Mustard Seed Garden Landscape Scroll, 2010 (Detail); Woodblock print, ink on paper; L546.2 x W48.3 cm; Photo courtesy of Xu Bing Studio

Xu Bing, Mustard Seed Garden Landscape Scroll, 2010 (Detail); Woodblock print, ink on paper; L546.2 x W48.3 cm; Photo courtesy of Xu Bing Studio

Curated by Yeewan Koon, It Begins with Metamorphosis: Xu Bing is the first major solo exhibition in Hong Kong featuring some of the latest works by this renowned artist. It highlights how metamorphosis marks the beginnings of the process of ideas and methods, and provides a focused look at Xu Bing’s art. Often using unexpected materials including tobacco leaves, debris, and silkworms, Xu Bing mediates on the transformative power of materiality as he challenges societal values, and explores the shape of memories, histories, and destinies.

Recognized for his originality, creativity, self-direction and contribution to the community, Xu Bing is known for his extraordinary print making, calligraphy and installations, as well as his works using unexpected materials such as tobacco leaves, debris and silkworms.

Xu Bing, Book from the Ground, 2014; Mixed media; Dimensions variable; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Book from the Ground, 2014; Mixed media; Dimensions variable; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Phoenix Video, 2012; Video with sound (US version), 17 minutes; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Phoenix Video, 2012; Video with sound (US version), 17 minutes; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Tobacco Book, 2011; Text from A True Discourse on the Present State of Virginia by Ralph Hamor (1615); Tobacco leaves, paper and cardboard; H101 x W136.5 x D9.8 cm; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Tobacco Book, 2011; Text from A True Discourse on the Present State of Virginia by Ralph Hamor (1615); Tobacco leaves, paper and cardboard; H101 x W136.5 x D9.8 cm; Collection of the artist

Notable works in the exhibition include newly commissioned exhibits Background Story (2014) which looks like a traditional Chinese landscape painting but is in fact, a composition made of leaves and debris; and Square Word Calligraphy (2014), an excerpt from Zhuangzi, a famous Taoist classic, written in what appears to be authentic Chinese characters but on closer examination we see they are invented characters formed by alphabet letters, a product of the artist’s imagination.

The exhibition also features artworks that provide a glimpse into Xu Bing’s life – who he is, how he started as an artist, his family relationships and where he is going today.

Xu Bing, Background Story, 2014; Natural debris, glass panel and lightbox; H395 x W150 x D60 cm; Collection of the artist

Xu Bing, Background Story, 2014; Natural debris, glass panel and lightbox; H395 x W150 x D60 cm; Collection of the artist

About the exhibition

Dates: 8 May – 31 Aug 2014

Venue: Asia Society Hong Kong Center

Address: The Hong Kong Jockey Club Former Explosives Magazine

9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2103 9511

Fax: +852 2877 5343

Email: enquiryhk@asiasociety.org

Courtesy of the artist and Asia Society Hong Kong Center, for further information please visit http://asiasociety.org.

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