Mar 28, 2010 - Apr 26, 2010

PHOENIX

Today Art Museum

XU BING
Today Art Museum

Exhibition photograph:  Xu Bing Aerial Project, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China.  Materials: construction debris, light emitting diodes.  Dimensions: 27 and 18 meters in length, 8 meters in width.

Under the dusky sky.  The two dinosaur-era-like, giant birds transform into a "phoenix gallery"  which brings the audience to feel a connection between the universe's space and the origin of the Earth in reality.

This is Xu Bing’s latest work which is inspired by the urban construction. He spent two years focusing on creating the work. The materials of the phoenix are all reclaimed urban construction waste, including building materials, construction equipment, work tools, construction worker's articles of daily use and other site materials. "Phoenix" not only presents the processes of urbanization, but also expresses respect for the city builders and concerns for environmental issues through its use of waste materials.  

“我希望它很浪漫,很美,同时又很凶猛,带有神性,怪异同时又非常现实。它用一种非常低廉的材料来打扮自己,让自己变得很有尊严,又带着伤痕累累的感觉,这就是《凤凰》的感人之处。”——徐冰

凤凰的象征性不仅为中国所有,世界上许多古老文化都有对“凤凰”意向的想象。凤凰经历烈火煎熬和痛苦的考验,在重生中达到升华,美丽异常。城市的起源总是与这些古老文化相关。《凤凰》寓意着人类城市化过程的历练与升华。来自世界各地的每一个面对它的人都会从它们身上看到生命的能量。

The symbolic of phoenix is not only belonged to China, but also can be found in many ancient cultures around the world. The phoenix is tormented by fire and pain, then it is reborn reaching the sublimation with extreme splendor. The origins of the city are always associated with these ancient cultures. The “Phoenix” implicates the experience and sublimation of human urbanization. People from all over the world facing the work could see the energy of life.

“I wish to make it a romantic, beautiful; ferocious one with divinity; monstrous but quite practical. It was dressed up with very low price materials, possessing with dignity but scarred as well. That is the attraction of ‘Phoenix’.” —Xu Bing

“它既凶又美,用这些破的材料弄出这么个大鸟来,感觉凤凰自己在制造一种伪装。好像凤凰为本身的生理做驱动,它就要梳理羽毛,让自己变得好看起来。就像穷人没有好的化妆品一样,最后用什么东西给自己乱抹一通,这也是民间艺术大红大绿的来源。”——徐冰

“It is aggressive but beautiful at the same time. To make such a huge bird with these ragged materials seems that the phoenix is making the hypocrisy. The phoenix preens herself to make herself as if their intuition of beauty tells them to do it. Just as the poor who is short of top cosmetics,attempt to make themselves more attractive in a clueless way. This is also the origin of the gaudy folk art.”——Xu Bing

此作品的现实性,与城市发展的足迹产生着直接和隐喻的双重关系。见证了城市飞速发展、劳动、智慧与财富积累、生活方式改变的深层关系,表现了城市人生活情怀的内在张力。

The reality of this work has a direct and metaphor dual relationship of the footprint of urban development. It witnesses the deep relationship of the rapid development of cities, the accumulation of labor, wisdom and wealth and the changing of lifestyles, showing the internal tension of citizen’s sentiments.

Credits: All media
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