free parking

a space for art and other things

Xu BingTian Shu (Book from the Sky), 1987-1991

Tian Shu is comprised of a display of books spread in a large rectangle across the ground, above which voluptuous scrolls unroll in long, pregnant arcs. The books—four hundred of them—are handmade with reverential adherence to the standards of traditional Ming dynasty fonts, bookbinding, typesetting and stringing techniques. 

To make them, Xu painstakingly carved Chinese characters into square woodblocks, in just the way his ancient printing predecessors would have done, had them typeset and printed, and the printed pages mounted and bound into books and scrolls.

Yet, there’s the astonishing, Borgesian catch: out of the three or four thousand Chinese characters used in these volumes and scrolls, not a single one of them is a real Chinese characterThey are made up of recognizable radicals and typical atomic components of Chinese characters, but Xu laboured to ensure that while they all retain the unmistakable look of Chinese script, they are all, so to speak, nonsense. They do not exist in any dictionary, and do not mean anything. Chinese speakers and non-Chinese speakers alike approach the books with the same sense of wonder at their beauty, and the same sense of incomprehension at their content. It’s a piece of art whose meaning is to be found in its meaninglessness. (via)
8 months ago on Nov 14,2013 · 3,932 notes · Tags: #art #installation #xu bing #text
  1. xenxan reblogged this from persimmonlions
  2. persimmonlions reblogged this from tinyelephantsinabottle
  3. tinyelephantsinabottle reblogged this from ximen
  4. beskone4tnost reblogged this from aijiu
  5. arrival-for-departure reblogged this from aijiu
  6. aijiu reblogged this from sahasi
  7. nearly-everything reblogged this from genetic-freak
  8. niekerk12var reblogged this from free-parking
  9. aninfinitesimalgod reblogged this from odificus
  10. lara-michelle reblogged this from free-parking
  11. lemonadeteardrop reblogged this from magicandmysterymanor
  12. magicandmysterymanor reblogged this from qizhiqingsehe
  13. purnsz reblogged this from free-parking
  14. toucherlenez reblogged this from snorkledog
  15. snorkledog reblogged this from iamashortgiraffe
  16. stiver0812 reblogged this from free-parking
  17. qizhiqingsehe reblogged this from mynameissweethell
  18. triaspora reblogged this from riot-gears and added:
    i wonder if the frequency distribution of these characters is the same shape as the frequency distribution of actual...
  19. riot-gears reblogged this from angrygirlcomics
  20. jtxmere reblogged this from jacknotzak
  21. shishiro reblogged this from endlose-unendlichkeit
  22. nifeandaccurateprophefies reblogged this from jacknotzak
  23. jacknotzak reblogged this from maniera-greca
  24. altruline reblogged this from aijiu
  25. milk-catt reblogged this from aijiu
  26. cosmoblues reblogged this from aijiu
  27. daebak-tokki reblogged this from aijiu
  28. artearte reblogged this from free-parking
  29. mynameisreyan reblogged this from aieos and added:
    Meaningless Art
  30. minionripley reblogged this from angrygirlcomics