Xu Bing Nature As Language

Xu Bing (b.1955) is one of China's most acclaimed living artists, internationally recognised for works that use language to challenge assumptions about culture. In Landscape/Landscript, the first exhibition and book devoted to his landscape works, Xu Bing addresses the Chinese language through its pictorial qualities and its relationship with landscape painting. He uses Chinese characters to compose mountains, trees, clouds and rivers. In new works presented for the first time here he develops the method to make copies of traditional landscape scrolls painted in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), and so adds a new dimension to the tradition itself. Landscape/Landscript also surveys Xu Bing's landscape work throughout his career and looks beyond China to the rest of the world. As a student and young lecturer he constantly sketched the Chinese landscape using the European styles taught at that time. More recently, Xu Bing has used landscape to engage with contemporary global issues, in an ongoing educational project that uses landscape painting to develop environmental improvements in Africa, China and South America
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