Xu Bing, The Phoenix & Liu Jiakun, With the Wind | 56th Venice Art Biennale

Place: Venice, Italy
Photos © Riccardo Bianchini/Inexhibit, 2015

Venice Biennale 2015 | Xu Bing, “The Phoenix” and Liu Jiakun, “With the Wind”

Xu Bing: The Phoenix

The Phoenix is an impressive work by the Chinese-born artist Xu Bing, installed in the Gaggiandre basin at the Arsenale.
Commissioned by a Hong Kong real estate developer, the first version of this installation, entirely made of construction site debris, was realized in 2010 and has been exhibited in many locations across the world thereafter.


Alluding to the frantic urban development in China – which reached its apex in 2008 on the occasion of the Beijing Olympics – and to the related consumption of human and material resources; Xu Bing has transfigured construction site debris into a couple of the mythological birds Feng and Huang, thus making them a symbol of the complex relationships between labor, matter and culture.




Liu Jiakun: With the Wind 2015 – It’s your call

With the Wind 2015 – It’s your Call is a site-specific installation by Liu Jiakun housed in the “Maidens’ Garden” at the Arsenale.
The key point of this work is its capability to define a space, almost an abode, by using a series of discrete and flimsy elements, by their nature unstable, moved back and forth by the wind.



For Liu Jiakun, this state of fragility and precarious equilibrium symbolizes the balance between nature and human development. Visitors temporarily “inhabiting” this space can interact with the installation by writing messages and attaching them to it through small magnets, thus adding a counterweight and modifying the balance of the structure.




Photos © Inexhibit, 2015

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Venice Art Biennale 2015 – All the World’s Futures – Index

Venice Art Biennale 2015 – All the World’s Futures – Index

Venice Art Biennale 2015 – All the World’s Futures – Index

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