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February 22, 1999

Talk offers insight into the life of artists in China

By Barbara McKenna

A rare opportunity to hear from two Chinese artists takes place on Thursday, February 25, at UCSC. Cai Guo-Qiang will speak at 2 p.m. and Xu Bing at 4 p.m. in Performing Arts Room M110. The talk is free and open to the public.

Cai Guo-Qiang, a native of the Fujian province, is known for his large-scale art projects that use gunpowder, fuse, and fireworks. His installation works revolve around sensitivity to nature and the spiritual and cultural history of China. He studied theater in Shanghai and came to Japan 1986, emerging into the international arts scene in the last decade. He has participated in many international venues, including biennial celebrations in Johannesburg, Venice, and Istanbul.

Xu Bing is best known for his elaborate installations, which poetically merge sharp cultural criticism with traditional Chinese book crafts. Through text-based installations, Xu Bing continues to encircle history and politics with an imaginative web of cynicism, tradition, and humor. Xu Bing started his career as a print artist and created a series of installations that consisted of various types of Chinese characters. Since moving to New York in 1990, he has been exhibiting internationally.

The works of Cai Guo-Qiang and Xu Bing will be exhibited in the contemporary Chinese exhibition "Inside Out: New Chinese Art" that opens at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Asian Art Museum on February 24. For more information on the UCSC talk, call (831) 459-2272.

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