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An exhibition by the highly skilled typographic artist Xu Bing, whose intricate installations are inspired by calligraphic texts.
Xu Bing, Landscape, northern Hebei province, 1976
courtesy the artist
This is the Ashmolean’s first exhibition of contemporary art, and thanks to the museum’s extensive collection of Chinese Art, it seems fitting it should go to the highly respected artist Xu Bing, whose quirky, often playful art works question the nature of culture in places of oppression.
An artist comfortable in many different media, from print to sculpture, installation to performance, Xu Bing’s art works focus on the misinterpretation of language and dialogues between cultures and how a line, or a curve in Chinese calligraphy can alter the meaning of a sentence. This will be the first exhibition in his career devoted to his landscapes and as a result he has made four new pieces for the exhibition.
Xu Bing presents his seminal work ‘Book from the Ground’, 2003 – ongoing, which exists in a number of formats including a book, a website and an installation, and tells the story of an ordinary man through the multitude of signs, logos and emoticons he confronts in his daily life.
The exhibition will also feature landscape paintings selected by Xu Bing from the Ashmolean’s collection, revealing the varied differences in traditional landscape painting between China and Europe.