Conhecido(a) Por: Directing
Born in Chongqing in 1955, Xu grew up in Beijing. His father was the head of the history department at Peking University. In 1975, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, he was relocated to the countryside for two years as part of Mao Zedong's "re-education" policy. Returning to Beijing in 1977, he enrolled at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, where he joined the printmaking department and also worked during a short period of time as a teacher, receiving his Masters in Fine Art in 1987. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, his recent work came under scrutiny from the government and received harsh criticism for what was perceived as a critique of the Chinese government. Due to the political pressure and artistic restrictions of the post-Tiananmen period in China, Xu Bing, like many of his contemporaries, moved to the United States in 1990 where he was invited by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He then resided to the United States until his appointment as vice-president of the Beijing CAFA in 2008.In 1990–91, Xu had his first exhibition in the United States at the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Elvehjem Museum of Art (now Chazen Museum of Art) including his installations A Book from the Sky and Ghosts Pounding the Wall. In Book from the Sky, the artist invented 4,000 characters and hand-carved them into wood blocks, then used them as movable type to print volumes and scrolls, which are displayed laid out on the floor and hung from the ceiling. The vast planes of text seem to convey ancient wisdom, but are in fact unintelligible. The Glassy Surface of a Lake, a site-specific installation for the Elvehjem, was on view in 2004-05. In this work, a net of cast aluminum letters forming a passage from Henry David Thoreau's Walden stretches across the museum's atrium and pours down into an illegible pile of letters on the floor below.Working in a wide range of media, Xu creates installations that question the idea of communicating meaning through language, demonstrating how both meanings and written words can be easily manipulated. He received a MacArthur Foundation grant in July 1999, presented to him for "originality, creativity, self-direction, and capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy."In 2003 he exhibited at the then new Chinese Arts centre in Manchester, and in 2004 he won the inaugural "Artes Mundi" prize in Wales for Where does the dust collect itself?, an installation using dust he collected in New York City on the day after the destruction of the World Trade Center. He won also a half year of free work and study at the American Academy in Berlin 2004.Xu Bing was appointed the new vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, March 2008.
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