"World Picture: Xu Bing's Dragonfly Eyes" at the Today Art Museum
August 18, 2019, Beijing – Artist Xu Bing’s solo exhibition World Picture: Xu Bing Dragonfly Eyes, hosted by Today Art Museum and Xu Bing Studio, opened at Today Art Museum, Beijing. The exhibition focuses on Xu Bing’s feature-length fiction movie Dragonfly Eyes, exploring the creative process and the artistic style of the movie. It also investigates the artist’s artistic concepts in the past 40 years and the internal relations among his art works.
The exhibition is divided into two parts. It starts with the Dragonfly Theater, which features Xu Bing’s film Dragonfly Eyes and a special Q&A video where Xu Bing reveals behind-the-scenes stories.
Dragonfly Eyes (81 mins) is the first feature film directed by Xu Bing. The movie is screen-written by Zhai Yongming and Zhang Hanyi, edited by Matthieu Laclau and Zhang Wenchao, sound supervised by Li Danfeng, and original music produced by Yoshihiro Hanno. The experimental movie has received extensive research and response in China and beyond. It continues the artist’s deep criticism and reflection on social phenomena and spectacle of technology. Furthermore, it brings viewers into an ever-changing image labyrinth: it not only demonstrates that in the modern world everyone is a mirror image of each other, but also radically reveals the true nature of the world —image is the world.
The second part, which is co-curated by guest curator Dong Bingfeng, features nine key words and some of Xu Bing’s signature works in comparison with his latest work, Dragonfly Eyes. The nine keywords: Plurality, Social Energy, Text and Image, Defamiliarization, Archive Fever Body, Non-form, Portrait Rights, Livestreaming, and Editing can help the audience to grasp the essence of Xu Bing’s work and form a comprehensive understanding of his art creations. Dragonfly Eyes as well as Book from the Ground, Phoenix, and Background Story, etc. share the same type of logics of Xu Bing’s work: they all are deeply imbedded in the social realities, innovating new artistic language in today’s world.
Dragonfly Eyes and the special Q&A video
In addition, Dragonfly Eyes and the special Q&A video were screened at the opening. After the screening, there was a conference where Dong Bingfeng, Hu Bin, executive vice director of Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and Arts Management professor, Lan Jiang, professor of Philosophy Department of Nanjing University, and Wang Xiaolu, famous film critic and curator explored the values and artistic language of the movie.
The exhibition will be on view for two months. During the exhibition, the Today Art Museum and Xu Bing Studio, collaborating with different organizations and guests, will provide a number of academic conferences, lectures, and inter-disciplinary dialogues and workshops. Meanwhile, the exhibition will also publish a catalogue containing scholarly articles and image documents.