Springfield, Ohio – Wittenberg University's nationally recognized East Asian Studies program is once again bringing the world to campus when internationally acclaimed artist Xu Bing presents his computer artwork "Square World Calligraphy" and his recent "Book from the Ground" at a colloquium from 4:15 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Room 124 Hollenbeck Hall.
Born in Chongqing, China, Bing grew up in Beijing, where he enrolled in the Central Academy of Fine Art in 1997 to study printmaking, which consists of taking a material with elevations and recesses and printing from it so that a three-dimensional form is transposed into a two-dimensional form. He received a master's degree from the Central Academy of Fine Art in 1987 before moving to the United States in 1990. He currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bing's artwork has been on display in Europe, Asia and North America, and it is collected by the British Library. He received a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 1998, and the following year he received the McArthur Foundation "genius" award, which recognized his originality, creativity, self-direction and capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.
In 2003, Bing won the 14th Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, had a conference at Princeton University discussing the role of text in his artwork and was named an honorary professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Bing has been celebrated with many other awards, including the Artes Mundi Prize and American Academy in Berlin Coca-Cola Fellowship in 2004, the Youth Friends Award in 2005 and the Southern Graphics Council Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
His artwork consists of traditional crafts, techniques and materials, mixed with contemporary conceptualism. Bing also creates installations, which question the idea of communicating meaning through language, demonstrating how both meanings and written words can be easily manipulated.
Bing's "Square Word Calligraphy" highlights Hong Kong's role as a meeting ground for East and West. It proclaims the possibility of unexpected rewards for those making the effort to communicate across cultures. The artwork is appropriate for the East Asian Studies objective of bringing different cultures together.
"Book from the Ground" is an experimental project that deals with the natural formation of a global language. Noting that his artwork has a different affect on people from different cultures, Bing attempts to bring people together through symbols. "Square World Calligraphy" and "Book from the Ground" will be available on the computers at the Foreign Language Learning Center (FLLC) from Wednesday, Feb. 20 through late March in Room 232 Hollenbeck Hall.
The colloquium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact workshop organizer and Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages & Literatures Howard Choy at (937) 327-6354 or via e-mail.
Written By: Sydney Bates '08
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