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Art Creation: The Source of Xu Bing’s Creative Methods

Lectures are free and open to the public. Seating may be limited. For inquiries about accessibility, please contact Leeanne Maxey at lmaxey@nyss.org.

Xu Bing Phoenix 2014 Cathedral of St John the Divine
Xu Bing, Phoenix, 2014, Cathedral of St John the Divine

Born in Chongqing, China, Xu Bing earned his B.A. and M.F.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. From 2008 to 2014, he has served as a professor and vice president of CAFA. Xu Bing’s work has been shown at MoMA, The Met, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, British Museum, and in the 45th, 51st, and 56th Venice Biennales, Biennale of Sydney, and Johannesburg Biennale. He is a MacArthur Fellow and currently lives and works in Beijing and NYC.

Kejia Wu is a faculty member at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and columnist for The Financial Times Chinese. She previously oversaw Asia projects and strategies at Sotheby’s in the Office of the CEO. Professor Wu received her M.B.A. from Yale University and was a co-founder of the East Modern Art Center, the first nonprofit contemporary art center in Beijing. She is a Trustee of NYSS and currently lives in NYC.

Crafted from workers’ tools and debris salvaged from construction sites across Beijing, the monumental pair of Phoenix sculptures (2010) arrived at New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in 2014. The magnificent nave of the Gothic-style cathedral seemed to echo with the Eastern traditional beliefs carried by the Phoenix. The birds crystalized the hopes and desires of the general public in a beautiful and dignified domain. The Reverend Julia E. Whitworth, canon of the Cathedral, cited from a poem by Miguel De Cervantes: “The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.”

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