We are delighted to organize a guided tour with the curator of this exhibition, Dr. Yeewan Koon. This is the first major solo exhibition of Xu Bing in Hong Kong, featuring some of the latest works by this renowned artist. The exhibition presented at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center will demonstrate how the transformative powers of materials and communication can prompt reflections on our day-to-day lives, personal memories, and collective histories. For example, in "Background Story", Xu Bing uses natural raw materials such as sticks and leaves set in a light box, to create, through their shadows, traces that appear to be similar to ink strokes of a Qing dynasty painting. "Ground from the Book" is an interactive artwork revealing a system of “language” told through icons and symbols as a new mode of communication. Both works have earlier precedents and also speak to one another. They provide insight to Xu Bing’s open-ended approach to art as he works through his own metamorphosis.
Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, China in 1955. He studied printmaking and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing in 1981 followed with a MFA in 1987. In 1990, he moved to the United States after receiving an invitation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Nine years later, he was the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award. In 2008, he returned to Beijing to take up the position of Vice-President of CAFA. His works have been exhibited in major institutions including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution in the USA, the Joan Miro Foundation in Spain, as well as 45th and 51st Venice Biennales and the Biennale of Sydney. In January 2014, Taipei Fine Arts Museum held a retrospective exhibition of Xu Bing’s works.
Dr. Yeewan Koon is Associate Professor of the Fine Arts Department at the University of Hong Kong. Her book, "A Defiant Brush: Su Renshan and The Politics of Painting in Early 19th Century Guangdong" (2014) maps out the changes in painting during the time of the Opium War. She is currently working on her new research on emulations and fabrications of paintings that challenge ideals of the originals.