「Lecture」Xu Bing at Stanford University: "Where comes the inspiration for art?”

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As an internationally renowned contemporary artist with a prolific career of over forty years, Xu Bing’s work has always sought to question and disrupt the various borderlines of contention and frontiers: between language and perception, fiction and reality, art and life, nature and technology, among many others.

A thinker ahead of his time, Xu Bing maintains a high sensitivity towards the worlds around him. In his words: “wherever there are people, there are problems; wherever there are problems, there is art. ”

This lecture is organized thematically through a selection of projects by Xu Bing, surveying how each responds to its situated time and place. From monumental projects like Book from the Sky and Phoenix, to fiction film Dragonfly Eyes, Xu Bing’s work takes a multitude of transformations and turns that often catch the viewers by surprise. But throughout the sheer abundance of mediums explored and experimented in the past forty years, Xu Bing seems to be preoccupied by the same set of questions at the core: what is art and what to make of it, today?

With the advent of the digital age, space technology, and new frontiers of AI, NFT and virtual-realities, the definition of “art” has become increasingly obfuscated. What does it mean to be an artist today? And where does one find inspiration for creating art?

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