Xu Bing

China 1955


Xu Bing
Xu Bing
October 26, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Xu Bing is a Chinese contemporary artist, born in 1955 in Chongqing, China. Xu grew up in Beijing, where he began his studies in the printmaking department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1977. Focusing on drawing and printmaking, Xu earned a BA in 1981, as well as an MFA in 1987. One of his best known works, Book from the Sky (1987–1991), earned Xu international recognition in the 1980s. The work is a massive installation made up of hundreds of volumes and scrolls printed with 4,000 imagined Chinese characters, which were cut by hand into wood printing blocks. Xu’s use of a fabricated and therefore indecipherable lexicon suggests that written text may be an inherently deceptive mode of communication.

In later works, Xu continued to explore themes surrounding language and writing. For a 2011 exhibition at the British Museum in London, Xu created an ephemeral installation called Background Story 7 as part of hisBackground Story series. Inspired by a 17th-century traditional Chinese painting, Xu created a diorama-like, sculptural image using corn husks, crumpled paper, and dried plants. Viewed through backlit frosted glass, the arrangement resembles a delicately painted landscape, while the opposite side reveals that the scene is comprised of discarded items and debris. Xu moved to the United States in 1990. In 1999, he was awarded a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

Currently considered one of China’s best-known artists, his work has been exhibited in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States in various venues, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the National Gallery of Prague. In 2008, he was appointed vice president of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Xu Bing currently has homes in both Beijing and New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2012 Xu Bing: Square Word Calligraphy Katonah Museum of Art Katonah NY Solo
2012 The Art of Rewriting China Carlsten Art Gallery University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Stevens Point WISolo
2012Tobacco Project 3 The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art Ridgefield CT Solo
2011 Square Word Calligraphy Classroom MIRIAM and IRA D. Wallach Art Gallery Columbia University New York NYSolo
2011 Where does the dust itself collect? Lower Manhattan Cultural Council New York NY Solo
2011 Tobacco project 3 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Richmond VA Solo
2011 living word 3 The Morgan liberary & Museum New York NY Solo
2011 Background Story 7 British Museum London Solo
2010 Phoenix Project Today Art Museum Beijing ChinaSolo
2010Phoenix Project Expo 2010 Shanghai ChinaSolo
2010The Question of Landscape Princeton University Art Museum Princeton New Jersey Group
2010Dead or Alive Museum of Arts and Design New York New York Group
2010Courier University at Albany Albany New York Group
2010Open Studio Getty Artists Program Los Angeles Group
2010Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition Museum of Fine Arts Boston MassachusettsGroup
2009 Reading Space: The Art of Xu Bing Clifford Gallery Colgate University Hamilton NewYorkSolo
2009 The First Academic Contemporary China Printmaking Exhibition Xu Bing Special Exhibition: The Path of Repetition and Print Today Art Museum Beijing ChinaSolo
2009 Xu Bing Forest Project Exhibition He Xiangning Art Museum Shenzhen ChinaSolo
2009Out of Bounds: Art from the Collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky Whatcom Museum of History and Art Bellingham WashingtonGroup
2009“WRITE NOW!” Klingspor-Museum Offenbach GermanyGroup
2009Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena CaliforniaGroup
20094th Fukuoka Asian Triennale Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Japan Group
2009Contemporary Prints: 1999 – 2009 Today Art Gallery Beijing Group
2009The China Project - Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese Collection Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) Queensland AustraliaGroup
2009Beaufort03 - Art by the Sea Leopold Park Oostende Belgium Group
2008 Picturing Equality: Xu Bing’s New Ways of Seeing Sawhill Gallery James Madison University Harrisonburg VirginiaSolo
2008 Xu Bing - Grossman Artist Solo Exhibition Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery Lafayette College PennsylvaniaSolo
2008 Xu Bing Albion Gallery London Solo
2008 Xu Bing Middlebury College Museum of Art Vermont Solo
2008Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary Museum of Arts and Design New York Group
2008HumanNature: Arists Respond to a Changing Planet Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Group
2008Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco Group
2008Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie the Neuberger Museum of Art Purchase College State University of New York Purchase, New YorkGroup
2008Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection: A New Generation Asia House London Group
2008Synthetic Times: Media Art China 2008 National Art Museum of China Beijing Group
2007 “Book from the Sky” to “Book from the Ground” – The Book Works of Xu Bing Spencer Museum of Art Kansas Solo
2007Acquired Tastes: 200 Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum The Boston Athenaeum Boston Group
2007Metamorphosis: The Generation of Transformation in Chinese Contemporary Art Tampere Art Museum Tampere FinlandGroup
2007Automatic Update The Museum of Modern Art New York Group
2007Reboot: The Third Chengdu Biennale Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum Chengdu SichuanGroup
2007Energies—Synergy Foundation De 11 Lijnen Oudenburg BelgiumGroup
2007Transliteration’85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art BeijingGroup
2007The Sixth Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition: A Vista of Perspectives Hexiangning Art Museum Shenzhen ChinaGroup
2006 Xu Bing Suzhou Museum Suzhou ChinaSolo
2006On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West Davis Museum and Cultural Center Wellesley College Wellesley MassachusettsGroup
2006Found in Translation: An Exhibition of Artist Books and Multi-Media Work San Francisco Center for the Book San Francisco Group
2006Brush and Ink: the Chinese Art of Writing Metropolitan Museum of Art New York Group
2006Belief: Singapore Biennale 2006 Singapore Group
2006Gwangju Biennale 2006: Fever Variations Gwangju Korea Group
2006 Piktogramme--die Einsamkeit der ZeichenPictograms: The Loneliness of Signs Kunstmuseum Stuttgart GermanyGroup
2005Collection Remixed Bronx Museum of the Arts the Bronx New YorkGroup
2005Critic’s Choice FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology) Liverpool Group
2005The Elegance of Silence: Contemporary Art from East Asia Mori Art Museum Tokyo Group
2005Landmark: PICA’s 10th Anniversary Visual Exhibition Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) Portland OregonGroup
2005The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art Millennium Art Museum Beijing Group
2004 Xu Bing: Three Installations Elvehjem Museum of Art University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison WisconsinSolo
2004 Xu Bing: El Pozo de la VerdadThe Well of Truth Sala La Gallera ValenciaSolo
2004 Xu Bing in Berlin Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Berlin GermanySolo
2004 Xu Bing Yokohama Portside Gallery Yokohama JapanSolo
2004 Xu Bing Tobacco Project: Shanghai Shanghai Gallery of Art Shanghai Solo
2004Xu Bing: The Glassy Surface of a Lake Elvehjem Museum of Art University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison WisconsinSolo
2004Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US Samek Art Gallery Bucknell University PennsylvaniaGroup
2004Artes Mundi: Wales International Visual Art Prize 2004 exhibition National Museum & Gallery Cardiff WalesGroup
2004Open House: Working in Brooklyn Brooklyn Museum New York Group
200426th São Paulo Biennial Pavilhão Ciccillo San Paulo BrazilGroup
2004Cyber Asia: Media Art in the Near Future Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art Hiroshima JapanGroup
2003Book from the Sky installation Princeton University Art Museum Princeton New JerseySolo
2003Xu Bing Eslite Gallery Taipei Taiwan Solo
2003Xu Bing Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Fukuoka JapanSolo
2003Xu Bing Chinese Arts Centre Manchester Solo
2003Skowhegan Faculty Exhibition Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art Portland MaineGroup
2003The First Beijing International Art Biennale National Art Museum of China Group
2003TypO:Writing with Style FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology) Liverpool Traveled to Moderna Museet Stockholm SwedenGroup
2003Chinese Printmaking Today The British Library London; in association with the Muban Foundation Group
2003Hard to Read Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson New YorkGroup
2002Xu Bing: Living Word 2 Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art Cornell University Ithaca New YorkSolo
2002Xu Bing Commons Gallery University of Hawai’i Honolulu HawaiiSolo
2002Classroom Calligraphy Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery Sidwell Friends School Washington D.C.Solo
2002Myers School of Art: Faculty Exhibition: Xu Bing: Installation Emily Davis Gallery University of Akron Akron OhioSolo
2002Biennale of Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney AustraliaGroup
2002CAFE in Mito (Communicable Action for Everybody) Contemporary Art Center Art Tower Mito TokyoGroup
2002Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane Australia Group
2002Harvest: Contemporary Art Exhibition The National Agriculture Museum Beijing Group
2002The First Guangzhou Triennial: Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art 1990-2000 Guangdong Museum of Art Guangzhou ChinaGroup
2002The 4th Shanghai Biennale Shanghai Art Museum Shanghai Group
2002Give & Take Serpentine Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum London Group
2001Translated Acts: Performance and Body Art from East Asia Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin Group
2001Brooklyn! Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art Palm Beach FloridaGroup
2001A Shriek from an Invisible Box Meguro Museum of Art Tokyo Group
2001Artists’ Books: Highlights from the Kohler Art Library Memorial Library University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison WisconsinGroup
2001Xu Bing Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Fukuoka JapanSolo
2001Xu Bing: Reading Landscape North Carolina Museum of Art North Carolina Solo
2001Xu Bing: One-Man Show Eslite Gallery Taipei TaiwanSolo
2001Xu Bing: Prints and Books Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) Portland OregonSolo
2001Word Play: Contemporary Art by Xu Bing Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C.Solo
2000EV+A 2000: Friends and Neighbours Exhibition of Visual Art 2000 Limerick City Gallery Of Art Limerick IrelandGroup
2000Biennale of Sydney 12th international festival of contemporary art Sydney AustraliaGroup
2000Delicate Balance: Six Routes to the Himalayas Kiasma Nykytaiteen Museo (Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art) Helsinki, FinlandGroup
2000If I Had a Dream: Four Chinese Artists in Berlin Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin Group
2000Von Matisse bis Morimura Museum Ludwig Cologne GermanyGroup
2000The Book & the Computer: New Parameters across Time and Space Ginza Graphic Gallery Tokyo Group
1999Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art the University of Chicago ChicagoGroup
1999Half a Century of Chinese Woodblock Prints: from the Communist Revolution to the Open-Door Policy and Beyond 1945-1998 Museum of Art Ein Harod IsraelGroup
1999The 1st Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (The 5th Asian Art Show) Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Fukuoka JapanGroup
1999CON(TEXT): Words, Text, and Meaning in the Permanent Collection The Bronx Museum of the Arts Bronx, New YorkGroup
1999Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s Queens Museum of Art Queens New YorkGroup
1999Power of the Word (organized by Independent Curators International) Taiwan Museum of Art Taichung TaiwanGroup
1999The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane AustraliaGroup
1999Babel: Contemporary Art and the Journeys of Communication Ikon Gallery Birmingham United KingdomGroup
1999Kunstwelten im Dialog: Von Gauguin zur globalen Gegenwart Museum Ludwig Cologne GermanyGroup
1999Projects 70 (banners cycle 1) Museum of Modern Art New YorkGroup
1999Calligraphy for the People: A Site Specific Installation Bates College Museum of Art Lewiston Maine Solo
1998Xu Bing: Recent Projects California Institute for the Arts Valencia CaliforniaSolo
1998Xu Bing: Cultural Animal Wood Street Galleries Pittsburgh PennsylvaniaSolo
1998Xu Bing Jack Tilton Gallery New York Solo
1998Xu Bing: Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy New Museum of Contemporary Art New York Solo
1998Xu Bing: Square Word Poetry Ethan Cohen Fine Art New York Solo
1998Unreadable Books New Letters The Mitaka City Art Center Mitaka JapanGroup
1998Transatlántico: Disceminación, Cruce y Desterritorialización CAAM (Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno Museum) Las Palmas de Gran Canaria SpainGroup
1998Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Xu Bing and Cai Guo Qiang Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies Annandale-on-Hudson New YorkGroup
1998Animal Anima Animus Pori Art Museum Pori FinlandGroup
1998Site of Desire 1998 Taipei Biennial Taipei Fine Art Museum TaiwanGroup
1998Crossings, Traversées National Gallery of Canada Ottawa CanadaGroup
1998Inside Out: New Chinese Art The Asia Society Museum and PS1 New York Group
1998‘The Library of Babel’: Characters, BooksMedia ICC-Intercommunication Center TokyoGroup
1998Cinco continentes y una ciudad Museo de la Ciudad de México Mexico City MexicoGroup
1998Concerning Truth Gallery 400 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago ChicagoGroup
1997Xu Bing Galería Charpa Valencia SpainSolo
1997Installation by Xu Bing Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London Solo
1997Xu Bing: Lost Letters Asian Fine Arts Factory Berlin Solo
1997Classroom Calligraphy Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró Mallorca SpainSolo
1997Xu Bing Tokyo Gallery Tokyo JapanSolo
1997Xu Bing. Square Word Calligraphy Hanart TZ Gallery Hong KongSolo
1997An Installation by Xu Bing: Another Language of Art Allen Priebe Gallery University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh WisconsinSolo
1997The Net: A Collaborative Installation by Xu Bing Tarble Arts Center Eastern Illinois University Charleston IllinoisSolo
1997Peking University Centennial calligraphy exhibition Beijing Group
1997Runt om oss inom oss Around Us Inside Us Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, SwedenGroup
1997 Die anderen Modernen: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Afrika Asien und Latinamerika Haus der Kulturen der Welt BerlinGroup
1997 2nd Kwangju Biennale Kwangju KoreaGroup
1997 2nd Johannesburg Biennale Johannesburg South Africa Group
1996Xu Bing: A Book from the Sky University Art Museum the University at Albany NewYorkSolo
1996Xu Bing: Learn Square Words Marstall Performance Centre Munich GermanySolo
1996Xu Bing Ethan Cohen at The Exchange New YorkSolo
1996Fractured Fairy Tales: Art in the Age of Categorical Disintegration Duke University Museum of Art Durham North CarolinaGroup
1996Interzones: A Work in Progress Kunstforeningen Copenhagen DenmarkGroup
1996New Works: 963 ArtPace International Artist in Residence Program ArtPace San Antonio TexasGroup
1996Origin and Myths of Fire: New Art from Japan China and Korea The Museum of Modern Art Saitama JapanGroup
1995Xu Bing Dille Center for the Arts Moorhead State University Moorhead MinnesotaSolo
1995Xu Bing: Recent Project MFA Graduation Exhibit University of South Dakota Vermillion South DakotaSolo
1995Xu Bing: Language Lost Huntington Gallery Massachusetts College of Art Boston MassachusettsSolo
1995Xu Bing: Post Testament Installation North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks North DakotaSolo
1995Xu Bing Randolph Street Gallery Chicago Solo
1995Des Del Pais Del Centre: Avantguardes Artistiques Xineses Centre D’Art Santa Monica Barcelona SpainGroup
1994Xu Bing: Experimental Exhibition Hanmo Art Center Beijing Solo
1994Xu Bing: Cultural Negotiations Art Center College of Design Pasadena CaliforniaSolo
1994Xu Bing: Recent Work The Bronx Museum of the Arts New York Solo
1994Jumping Typography O Art Museum Tokyo Group
1994Flesh & Ciphers Here Foundation New York Group
1994Cocido y Crudo Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Madrid SpainGroup
1993Xu Bing: Le Livre du Ciel La Galerie Bellefroid Paris Solo
1993Xu Bing: A Home Away from Home North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks North DakotaSolo
1993China Avant-Garde Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin Group
199345th Venice Biennale Venice Italy Group
1993Fragmented Memory: The Chinese Avant-Garde in Exile Wexner Center for the Visual Arts Ohio State University Columbus OhioGroup
1992Xu Bing North Dakota Museum of Art Grand Forks North DakotaSolo
1992Foreign Students’ Art Exhibition Warren M Lee Center for the Fine Arts University of South Dakota Vermillion South DakotaGroup
1992Looking for Tree of Life: A Journey to Asian Contemporary Art The Museum of Modern Art Saitama JapanGroup
1992New Art From China Art Gallery of New South Wales Australia Group
1991Xu Bing Tokyo Gallery Tokyo JapanSolo
1991Xu Bing Book of Heaven D. P. Fong & Spratt Galleries San Jose CaliforniaSolo
1991Three Installations by Xu Bing Elvehjem Museum of Art University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison WisconsinSolo
1991I Don’t Want to Play Cards With Cézanne’ and Other Works Pacific Asia Museum Pasadena CaliforniaGroup
1991The Book as an Objet d’art Hong Kong Arts Centre Hong Kong Group
1991AAAC Annual: From ‘Star Star’ to Avant Garde--Nine Artists from China Part 1 Asian American Arts Centre New YorkGroup
1990Exhibition of Xu Bing’s Prints Lung Men Art Gallery Taipei TaiwanSolo
1989ChinaAvant-Garde National Art Museum of China BeijingGroup
1989Toward the 1990s: Documents on Contemporary Chinese Art Gallery K and Gallery Kobayashi Tokyo Group
1989Special Exhibition: Contemporary Chinese Art ‘Now’ Tokyo Gallery Tokyo Group
1988Xu Bing Prints China Art Gallery (now National Fine Art Museum of China) Beijing Solo
1988Xu Bing Print Exhibition Lung Men Art Gallery Taipei TaiwanSolo
19884 Internationale Triennale der Zeichnung Kunsthalle Nürnberg Nuremberg GermanyGroup
1988Paris-Pekin Palais des Etudes Paris Group
1987Contemporary Prints from the People’s Republic of China Metropolitan Gallery Portland OregonGroup
1987Gravures de dix artistes chinois sponsored by Le Club du Livre chinois Palais des nations Geneva SwitzerlandGroup
19861st International Asian-European Art Biennial the Ankara Türkocağı Painting and Sculpture Museum Ankara TurkeyGroup
1986Four-person show: Xu Bing, Zhang Jun ,Chen Qiang, Chen Jingrong Central Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, BeijingGroup
1986Modern Chinese Prints from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Peking The British Museum LondonGroup
1985Cent gravures de l’institut central des Beaux-Arts de Pekin galleries of the Palais des Etudes Paris Group
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