Xu Bing : Phoenix

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More About This Title Xu Bing : Phoenix


Born in Sichuan in 1955, Xu Bing is widely considered to be among the most important Chinese artists working today. The Phoenix, the mythical bird that crosses civilizations and eras, has a central role in the artist's latest productions. Xu Bing’s Phoenixes -- made of random common materials used in building construction -- are allegories of the tremendous changes that occurred in China since the opening of the country and illustrate the contrasts within its "renaissance." Xu Bing will be unveiling his new Phoenix at the 2015 Venice Biennale this May. His piece will be located over the water between two boathouses at the Pavilion at Arsenale – Giardino delle Vergini. The 56th International Art Exhibition, titled All the World’s Futures and curated by Okwui Enwezor, will be open to the public from 9 May to 22 November 2015 at the Giardini and Arsenale venues.


Xu Bing (b. 1955, Sichuan) is one of the most celebrated international contemporary artists living today. He is well-known for his exploration of language systems and other groundbreaking art practices. The artist immigrated to New York in 1990 and returned to Beijing in 2007. Xu Bing’s work stands out from “standard contemporary art” by penetrating deep into the root of China’s culture while maintaining an awareness of historical context. His continuous observation of art, society, and politics has given his avant-garde practice significant theoretical value. 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 was awarded the first Artes Mundi International Visual Art Prize in Wales. In 2015, Xu Bing received the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts award. His exhibitions have been held at the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; The V&A Museum and the British Museum in London amongst other major institutions. Additionally, Xu Bing has been shown at the 45th Venice Biennale amongst other international exhibitions. Representive works include The Book from the Sky (1987), Cultural Animal (1994), Squareword Calligraphy Classroom (1994), Where does the dust itself collect? (2004), The Book from the Ground (2006), Tao Hua Yuan: A Lost Village Utopia (2013-2014), The Phoenix (2008-2015).