Our Photo of the Day series this week shares photos of recent openings at 798 and Caochangdi, adjacent creative zones central to Beijing’s contemporary art world.
The big opening in 798 last weekend was for living master Xu Bing, who has spent a major portion of his career in Beijing (minus an 18 year stint in the US). Thought and Method opened at one of 798’s oldest and most important contemporary art institutions, UCCA, which calls the show “Xu Bing’s most comprehensive retrospective in Beijing” and “a summation of an artistic career that spans more than four decades, including more than sixty works, comprising prints, drawings, installation art, and films, as well as documentary footage and archival material.”
The centerpiece of the show (above) is one of Xu’s most famous works, Book from the Sky, a four-volume tome that Xu made out of made-up characters, each of which was printed on hard-carved wooden blocks. That one dominates the promotional imagery for the exhibit, but it’s truly a wide-ranging survey of Xu’s prodigious output over the last 40+ years (the earliest piece is a drawing Xu did as a schoolboy; the most recent is a feature-length film from last year).
Most of the exhibit is presented in UCCA’s main space, aka its Great Hall, which has just been expanded to its original proportions (a whopping 1,800 square meters) as the first in a series of full-scale renovations that they’ll complete early next year. They’ve also recently announced a blockbuster exhibition for summer 2019 in Picasso: The Birth of a Genius, which will present works from the Spanish master’s Blue, Rose, and early Cubist periods.
Find more photos from Xu Bing’s Thought and Method below, and read more about the show at UCCA’s site.
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