AU Press Releases

Notable Chinese artist to deliver lecture at School of Art & Design

Xu Bing, who is considered to be "one of the most important Chinese artists of his generation," will deliver a guest lecture at 5:20 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6, in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall, on the Alfred University campus.

His lecture, which is presented by the School of Art & Design Office of the Dean and Division of Expanded Media, is in honor of the opening of the McGee Pavilion, an addition to Harder Hall that will be formally dedicated later this semester.

Xu Bing is an artist and original thinker best known for his ambitious installation works addressing relationships between images and text, materials and public intervention, artist and people.

As vice president of international programs at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, Xu Bing has worked with Wayne Higby, professor of ceramic art, and Xiaowen Chen, associate professor of printmaking, on collaborations between CAFA and the School of Art & Design, including the Ceramic in the City Design Program.

Xu Bing: Tobacco Project opens Jan. 29 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. The exhibition "explores the production and culture of tobacco as seen through the eyes of one of China’s most important contemporary artists," according to a release from the museum.

"The artist visited tobacco farms, warehouses, and cigarette factories in Virginia to create the work for this exhibition, which is one of his most ambitious undertakings, spanning 12 years of research and production. Xu Bing’s interest in ‘tobacco culture’ extends to the historical impact of China’s large-scale importation of tobacco products from the United States, which began in the late 19th century. By revealing the complex connections between people and tobacco, his project ultimately alludes to the fundamental issues of human culture and tobacco as a medium of social exchange."

Xu Bing’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions are the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC: the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and the Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona, Spain. His work has also been featured at the 45th and 51st Venice Biennales.

In July 1999, Xu Bing was awarded the MacArthur Prize for Genius. In addition, he was awarded the first Artes Mundi Prize, a new award created to stimulate interest in contemporary art in Wales.

Xu Bing: Tobacco Project is a traveling exhibition organized Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and curated by John B. Ravenal, Sydney and Francis Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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