Artists Historians Curators

Xu Bing

Xu Bing's Work

Xu Bing's Work

Xu Bing finds his family roots in Wenling of Zhejiang province. He was born in Chongqing, China in 1955. In 1977 he entered the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) where completed his bachelor’s degree in 1981 and stayed on as an instructor, earning his MFA in 1987. In 1990, on the invitation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to the United States. Xu currently serves as the Vice President of CAFA. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Joan Miro Foundation, Spain; National Gallery of Prague and the Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas, amongst other major institutions. Additionally, Xu Bing has shown at the 45th and 51st Venice Biennales; the Biennale of Sydney and the Johannesburg Biennale amongst other international exhibitions.

Over the years, Xu Bing’s work has appeared in high-school and college text-books around the world including Abram’s “Art Past – Art Present,” Gardner’s “Art Through the Ages” and Greg Clunas’s “Chinese Art” a volume in the “Oxford History of Art” series, Jane Farver’s Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s – 1980s (Queens Museum of Art Press) and Art Worlds in Dialogue (Museum Ludwig Press). In 2006, the Princeton University Press published “Persistence/Transformation: Text as Image in the Art of Xu Bing” a multidisciplinary study of Xu Bing’s landmark work “Book from the Sky.” In 2008, Professor Robert Harrist, Chair of Chinese Art at Columbia University, New York, began teaching a graduate seminar entitled “The Art of Xu Bing.”

In 1999, Xu Bing was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his “capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.” In 2003 Xu Bing was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, and in 2004 he won the first Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi. In 2006, the Southern Graphics Council awarded Xu Bing their lifetime achievement award in recognition of the fact that his, “use of text, language and books has impacted the dialogue of the print and art worlds in significant ways.” “Art in America” listed Xu Bing, along with 15 others, in their annual Year in Review. Is awarded Doctor of Humane Letters by Columbia University in 2010.




The National Art Museum of China (Beijing, China)

The British Museum (London, UK)

The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)

The Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York

The Kent and Vicki Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)

Museum Ludwig (Köln, Germany)

Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

Queensland Art Gallery (Queensland, Australia)

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka, Japan)

Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, NJ)

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA)


Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (Washington, DC)

Embassy of the United States of America (Beijing, China)*

Asia Society Museum (NY, USA)

Equestrian Park (Hong Kong)



Phoenix Project, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Phoenix Project, Expo 2010, Shanghai, China


Reading Space: The Art of Xu Bing, Clifford Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, NewYork

The First Academic Contemporary China Printmaking Exhibition, Xu Bing Special Exhibition: The Path of Repetition and Print, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Xu Bing Forest Project Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China


Picturing Equality: Xu Bing’s New Ways of Seeing, Sawhill Gallery, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Xu Bing - Grossman Artist Solo Exhibition, Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania

Xu Bing, Albion Gallery, London

Xu Bing, Middlebury College Museum of Art, Vermont


“Book from the Sky” to “Book from the Ground” – The Book Works of Xu Bing, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas


Xu Bing, Suzhou Museum, Suzhou, China


Xu Bing: Three Installations, Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Xu Bing: El Pozo de la Verdad/The Well of Truth, Sala La Gallera, Valencia

Xu Bing in Berlin, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin, Germany

Xu Bing, Yokohama Portside Gallery, Yokohama, Japan

Xu Bing Tobacco Project: Shanghai, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai

Xu Bing: The Glassy Surface of a Lake, Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin


Book from the Sky installation, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

Xu Bing, Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

Xu Bing, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Xu Bing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester


Xu Bing: Living Word 2, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Xu Bing, Commons Gallery, University of Hawai’i, Honolulu, Hawaii

Classroom Calligraphy, Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery, Sidwell Friends School, Washington D.C.

Myers School of Art: Faculty Exhibition: Xu Bing: Installation, Emily Davis Gallery, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio


Xu Bing, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Xu Bing: Reading Landscape, North Carolina Museum of Art, North Carolina

Xu Bing: One-Man Show, Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

Xu Bing: Prints and Books, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland, Oregon

Word Play: Contemporary Art by Xu Bing, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.


Calligraphy for the People: A Site Specific Installation, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine


Xu Bing: Recent Projects, California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, California

Xu Bing: Cultural Animal, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Xu Bing, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

Xu Bing: Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

Xu Bing: Square Word Poetry, Ethan Cohen Fine Art, New York


Xu Bing, Galería Charpa, Valencia, Spain

Installation by Xu Bing, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London

Xu Bing: Lost Letters, Asian Fine Arts Factory, Berlin

Classroom Calligraphy, Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Mallorca, Spain

Xu Bing, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Xu, Bing. Square Word Calligraphy, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

An Installation by Xu Bing: Another Language of Art, Allen Priebe Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

The Net: A Collaborative Installation by Xu Bing, Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois


Xu Bing: A Book from the Sky, University Art Museum, the University at Albany, NewYork

Xu Bing: Learn Square Words, Marstall Performance Centre, Munich, Germany

Xu Bing, Ethan Cohen, at The Exchange, New York


Xu Bing, Dille Center for the Arts, Moorhead State University, Moorhead, Minnesota

Xu Bing: Recent Project, MFA Graduation Exhibit, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota

Xu Bing: Language Lost, Huntington Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Massachusetts

Xu Bing: Post Testament Installation, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Xu Bing, Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago


Xu Bing: Experimental Exhibition, Hanmo Art Center, Beijing

Xu Bing: Cultural Negotiations, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California

Xu Bing: Recent Work, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York


Xu Bing: Le Livre du Ciel, La Galerie Bellefroid, Paris

Xu Bing: A Home Away from Home, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota


Xu Bing, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota


Xu Bing, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Xu Bing, Book of Heaven, D. P. Fong & Spratt Galleries, San Jose, California

Three Installations by Xu Bing, Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin


Exhibition of Xu Bing’s Prints, Lung Men Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan


Xu Bing Prints, China Art Gallery (now National Fine Art Museum of China), Beijing

Xu Bing Print Exhibition, Lung Men Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan



The Question of Landscape, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey

Dead or Alive, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Courier, University at Albany, Albany, New York

Open Studio, Getty Artists Program, Los Angeles

Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts


Out of Bounds: Art from the Collection of Driek and Michael Zirinsky, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, Washington

“WRITE NOW!”, Klingspor-Museum, Offenbach, Germany

Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California

4th Fukuoka Asian Triennale, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan

Contemporary Prints: 1999 – 2009, Today Art Gallery, Beijing

The China Project - Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese Collection, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Queensland, Australia

Beaufort03 - Art by the Sea, Leopold Park, Oostende, Belgium


Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary, Museum of Arts and Design, New York

Human/Nature: Arists Respond to a Changing Planet, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Traveled to University of California Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive

Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flânerie, the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, New York

Modern Chinese Art: The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection: A New Generation, Asia House, London

Synthetic Times: Media Art China 2008, National Art Museum of China, Beijing


Acquired Tastes: 200 Years of Collecting for the Boston Athenaeum, The Boston Athenaeum, Boston

Metamorphosis: The Generation of Transformation in Chinese Contemporary Art, Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland

Automatic Update, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Reboot: The Third Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan

Energies—Synergy, Foundation De 11 Lijnen, Oudenburg, Belgium

Transliteration/’85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art, The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

The Sixth Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition: A Vista of Perspectives, Hexiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China


On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West, Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Found in Translation: An Exhibition of Artist Books and Multi-Media Work, San Francisco Center for the Book, San Francisco

Traveled to the New York Center for Book Arts, New York; the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Brush and Ink: the Chinese Art of Writing, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,

Belief: Singapore Biennale 2006, Singapore

Gwangju Biennale 2006: Fever Variations, Gwangju, Korea

September 28-November 11; December 13-February 24, 2007

Shu: Reinventing Books in Contemporary Chinese Art, China Institute Gallery, New York

Traveled to The Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle

Piktogramme--die Einsamkeit der Zeichen/Pictograms: The Loneliness of Signs, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany


Collection Remixed, Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Bronx, New York

Critic’s Choice, FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), Liverpool

The Elegance of Silence: Contemporary Art from East Asia, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

Landmark: PICA’s 10th Anniversary Visual Exhibition, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland, Oregon

The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, Millennium Art Museum, Beijing

Traveled to Albright-Knox Art gallery (also University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery; University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Center for the Arts) Buffalo, New York


Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell University, Pennsylvania

Traveled to Jean Paul Slusser Gallery, School of Art & Design, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, providence, Rhode Island; Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts; Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee; University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, Virginia

Artes Mundi: Wales International Visual Art Prize 2004, exhibition, National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff, Wales

Open House: Working in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum, New York

26th São Paulo Biennial, Pavilhão Ciccillo, San Paulo, Brazil

Cyber Asia: Media Art in the Near Future, Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan


Skowhegan Faculty Exhibition, Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine

The First Beijing International Art Biennale, National Art Museum of China

TypO:Writing with Style, FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), Liverpool Traveled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Chinese Printmaking Today, The British Library, London; in association with the Muban Foundation

Hard to Read, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York


Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

CAFE in Mito (Communicable Action for Everybody), Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito, Tokyo

Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Australia

Harvest: Contemporary Art Exhibition, The National Agriculture Museum, Beijing

The First Guangzhou Triennial: Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art 1990-2000, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

The 4th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai

Give & Take, Serpentine Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London


Translated Acts: Performance and Body Art from East Asia, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Traveled to Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City, Mexico

Brooklyn!, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, Florida

A Shriek from an Invisible Box, Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo

Artists’ Books: Highlights from the Kohler Art Library, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin


EV+A 2000: Friends and Neighbours, Exhibition of Visual Art 2000, Limerick City Gallery Of Art, Limerick, Ireland

Biennale of Sydney, 2000, 12th international festival of contemporary art, Sydney, Australia

Delicate Balance: Six Routes to the Himalayas, Kiasma, Nykytaiteen Museo (Kiasma,Museum of Contemporary Art), Helsinki, Finland

If I Had a Dream: Four Chinese Artists in Berlin, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin

Von Matisse bis Morimura, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

The Book & the Computer: New Parameters across Time and Space, Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo


Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, the University of Chicago, Chicago

Traveled to University of Oregon Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon; the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

Half a Century of Chinese Woodblock Prints: from the Communist Revolution to the Open-Door Policy and Beyond, 1945-1998, Museum of Art, Ein Harod, Israel

Traveled to The Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; University Art Gallery, University of Pittsburgh; Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University; Spencer Art Museum, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; Pannell Gallery of Sweet Briar College, New York; Daura Gallery, Lynchburg College, Virginia; Fundacao Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal; Rietberg Museum Zurich, Switzerland; Rijksmuseum oor Volkenkunde, Lieden, The Netherlands; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul

The 1st Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (The 5th Asian Art Show), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

CON(TEXT): Words, Text, and Meaning in the Permanent Collection, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, New York

Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, New York

Traveled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Miami Art Museum, Miami

Power of the Word (organized by Independent Curators International), Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan

Traveled to Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa; Emerson Gallery Hamilton Collge, Clinton, New York; University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson Arizona; Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs

The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

Babel: Contemporary Art and the Journeys of Communication, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Traveled to Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham; Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield

Kunstwelten im Dialog: Von Gauguin zur globalen Gegenwart, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

Projects 70 (banners, cycle 1), Museum of Modern Art, New York


Unreadable Books New Letters, The Mitaka City Art Center, Mitaka, Japan

Transatlántico: Disceminación, Cruce y Desterritorialización, CAAM (Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno Museum), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Xu Bing and Cai Guo Qiang, Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Animal Anima Animus, Pori Art Museum, Pori, Finland

Traveled to Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Arnhem, The Netherlands; PS1, Long Island City, New York; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada

Site of Desire, 1998 Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taiwan

Crossings/Traversées, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Inside Out: New Chinese Art, The Asia Society Museum and PS1, New York

Traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington & Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Asian cities from spring 2000

‘The Library of Babel’: Characters/Books/Media, ICC-Intercommunication Center, Tokyo

Cinco continentes y una ciudad, Museo de la Ciudad de México, Mexico City, Mexico,

Concerning Truth, Gallery 400, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago


Peking University Centennial calligraphy exhibition, Beijing

Runt om oss, inom oss/Around Us, Inside Us, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden

Die anderen Modernen: Zeitgenössische Kunst aus Afrika, Asien und Latinamerika, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

2nd Kwangju Biennale, 1997, Kwangju, Korea

2nd Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, South Africa


Fractured Fairy Tales: Art in the Age of Categorical Disintegration, Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina

Interzones: A Work in Progress, Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Traveled to Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden, September 14-November 3

New Works: 963, ArtPace International Artist in Residence Program, ArtPace, San Antonio, Texas

Origin and Myths of Fire: New Art from Japan, China and Korea, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan


Des Del Pais Del Centre: Avantguardes Artistiques Xineses, Centre D’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain


Jumping Typography, O Art Museum, Tokyo

Flesh & Ciphers, Here Foundation, New York

Cocido y Crudo, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain


China Avant-Garde, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Traveled to Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam; The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense

China’s New Art, Post-1989, organized by Hanart TZ gallery, Hong Kong, and The American Federation of the Arts; Exhibition Hall, Low Block, Hong Kong City Hall; Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre

Traveled to venues including Marlborough Fine Art, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Santa Monica Art Center, Barcelona; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Denver, Colorado; University of Oregon Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California; Salina Arts Center, Kansas; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Exh. titles include Mao Goes Pop; New Art from China, Post-1989; New Art in China, 1989-1993

45th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Fragmented Memory: The Chinese Avant-Garde in Exile, Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio


Foreign Students’ Art Exhibition, Warren M Lee Center for the Fine Arts, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota

Looking for Tree of Life: A Journey to Asian Contemporary Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan

New Art From China, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Traveled to Queensland Art Gallery; City of Ballarat Fine Art Gallery; Canberra School of Art Gallery


I Don’t Want to Play Cards With Cézanne’ and Other Works, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California

The Book as an Objet d’art, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

AAAC Annual: From ‘Star Star’ to Avant Garde--Nine Artists from China, Part 1, Asian American Arts Centre, New York


China/Avant-Garde, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

Toward the 1990s: Documents on Contemporary Chinese Art, Gallery K and Gallery Kobayashi, Tokyo

Special Exhibition: Contemporary Chinese Art ‘Now’, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo


4 Internationale Triennale der Zeichnung, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany

Paris-Pekin, Palais des Etudes, Paris


Contemporary Prints from the People’s Republic of China, Metropolitan Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Traveled to Schneider Museum of Art, Medford, Oregon

Gravures de dix artistes chinois, sponsored by Le Club du Livre chinois, Palais des nations, Geneva, Switzerland


1st International Asian-European Art Biennial, the Ankara Türkocağı Painting and Sculpture Museum, Ankara, Turkey

Four-person show, Xu Bing, Zhang Jun, Chen Qiang, Chen Jingrong, Central Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing

Modern Chinese Prints from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Peking, The British Museum, London


Cent gravures de l’institut central des Beaux-Arts de Pekin, galleries of the Palais des Etudes, Paris