Word Play: Contemporary Art by Xu Bing

October 21, 2001 – May 12, 2002

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Sublevels 1 and 2 Floor Plan

Chinese artist Xu Bing's seminal, best-known piece A Book from the Sky (Tianshu) are on view, along with books, scrolls, and wall posters printed, all using 2,000 unreadable imitation "Chinese characters" that were invented by the artist to express humankind's struggle with communication. Three other works, Square Word Calligraphy, The New English Calligraphy, and A,B,C demystify the art of calligraphy and address issues of communication while also offering visitors the opportunity to experiment with Chinese calligraphic tools. A self-imposed exile, Xu Bing (b. 1955) was a leader in the avant-garde movement that emerged in China between the end of the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square massacre.

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