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Xu Bing: Phoenix
Directed by Daniel Traub
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"Drawing inspiration from the contemporary realities of his fast-changing country, Chinese artist Xu Bing spent two years creating his newest work, Phoenix. The installation features two monumental birds fabricated entirely from materials harvested from construction sites in urban China, including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers. At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China." —MASS MoCA 

The film Xu Bing: Phoenix documents the process of creating the work through to its installation at the Massachusetts' Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

"Xu Bing is an artist who bridges East and West; the very old and the very new." The New York Times

"Recommended! Ideal for viewing in a classroom, and the subject matter is likely to spark discussion on the intersection of art, economics, folklore, and the environment. Tells the story of the conception and installation of a sculpture created from construction debris and refuse materials from building projects in Beijing during the late 2000s."
Educational Media Reviews Online

"A well-honed film. The phoenixes are just wonderful; their sheer mass and girth signifies their labor; they are clearly hand made, cleverly constructed, and turn ordinary tools of labor into the larger sum of their parts—a magnificent, mythical being." Hyperallergic

International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)
Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC
United Art Museum, Wuhan, China
International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts

17 minutes / Color
English; Mandarin / English subtitles
Release: 2020
Copyright: 2013

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This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Anthropology (Cultural), Architecture, Art, Asia, Asia Studies, China, Cultural Anthropology, Environment, Fine Art, Globalization, Urbanization, Urban Planning & Design

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