American Silkworm Series Part III: The Opening 在美国养蚕三:蚕花
1998

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Exhibited:Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Xu Bing and Cai Guo Qiang, Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies P.S.1, New York
               Animal, Anima, Animus, P.S. 1, New York
Materials: Mixed media installation / Mulberry plant, silkworms, vase.

A huge bouquet of blooming mulberry branches arranged in an oversized vase was displayed in the lobby of the venue during the exhibition opening. Hundreds of silkworms crawl on the branches and feast on the fresh leaves. In the course of the exhibition period, the mulberry leaves are completely consumed by the silkworms, leaving only the bare branches. The silkworms then proceed to spin their silk into silvery cocoons, transforming the bare branches in the vase into a scene replete with another kind of beauty. As in many of his works, Xu's deceptively simple approach embodies a deeper philosophical connotation, grounded in the artist's application of an Eastern philosophical approach to the objectives of contemporary art. The Opening addresses questions such as the uncertainty of an object's true nature, and the gradual transformation of concept and of boundaries that have been central to Xu Bing's works.