Persistence/Transformation: Text as Image in the Art of Xu BingISBN: 0691125325; 9780691125329;
The calligrapher and book artist Xu Bing has been called the most innovative Chinese artist of our time. As a citizen of both China and the United States and the first Asian-American artist to win the prestigious MacArthur Foundation "genius award," Xu Bing has fascinated and challenged audiences around the world with his imaginative textual art. From his 4,000 unreadable Chinese-looking characters, which unite Asian and Western audiences alike in an egalitarianism of induced illiteracy, to his invention of a "square words" language that makes "Chinese" readable by anyone at all, Xu Bing's use of language is at once artistically brilliant, highly entertaining, and profoundly subversive--a sharp-witted, masterly word-play that, in his own words, "strikes at the very essence of culture." In exhibitions on four continents, Xu Bing's printed art, mixed-media installations, and performance pieces--from books and calligraphic sculptures to inscribed pigs--have fascinated...