Xun Bing A Book From The Sky Analysis

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Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, in a Sichuan Province of China in February 1955. He grew up in Beijing, however, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, he was relocated to the countryside for two years because of his talent in art. There he spent a lot of time making banners for various holidays and events. He was constantly surrounded by propaganda as well as art, so when he arrived back in Beijing he enrolled at the Central Academy of Fine Arts where he joined the printmaking department.
A Book from the Sky is an installation piece that feature over 400 hand-printed books, propped open on special wooden mounts, evenly spaced and aligned on the ground. Little space exists between the books on the ground. Each book contains a specially designed pseudo-Chinese calligraphic mark. These words are completely illegible in Chinese but use familiar strokes frustrating the audience. The wall is covered with these prints reminiscent of landscapes, the ceiling has three scrolls, which are also reminiscent of billowing clouds, and the books on the floor are reminiscent of waves. Xu creates a stark value with black and white hues; his use of geometric shapes
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Additionally Qiu Zhijie’s Writing the “Orchis Pavillion Preface” One Thousand Times is five sets of writings, each becoming more illegible as it goes on to the point where everything is obscured. Both Sky Book and Orchis Pavillion use the destruction of language for a greater meaning. Initially, A Book in the Sky was severely criticized in China, some calling it “bad work by a model teacher” and after the Tienman Square incident, it became much worse forcing Xu Bing to flee to America. However, now the piece is wildly hailed as one of the best pieces from the twentieth
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