Reading Landscape 读风景

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Institution: North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina
Materials: Acrylic

For this exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina, Xu Bing created a room-filling, three-dimensional landscape in the exhibition gallery. Meditating on the view of the landscape outside the windows of the gallery space, Xu Bing took advantage of the pictographic quality of early Chinese script to 'spell out' the natural scenery, covering floor, ceilings and windows in over one thousand acrylic characters representing landscape elements such as water, grass, trees, birds, etc. Audience members could wander freely through this verbal/visual landscape.

Exhibition curator Huston Paschal described this work as a ''character garden...provid[ing] a witty interaction between East and West, nature and art, word and image.'' At the same time, it demonstrates the artist's increased interest in creating works that are empathetic to the audience and invite its participation.