Chinese artist Xu Bing has several works currently on view as part of an exhibition at Mass MoCA in Massachusetts. Among the works are two 12-ton birds titled Phoenix that fill the museum’s football field-sized Building 5. Two years in the making, the birds were constructed from materials collected at various Chinese construction sites including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and assorted remnants of migrant laborers. The male Phoenix titled Feng measures 90 feet long, and the female, Huang, is nearly 100 feet in length from beak to its steel tail feathers. Both birds are illuminated from within through a network of lights.
Somewhat similar to artists Yao Lu and Ai Weiwei, Xu Bing seems to be commenting on China’s rapid commercial development that is drastically altering the physical and cultural landscape within the country. Phoenix will be on view October 27th. (via junk culture, hyperallergic, my modern met)
Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!