Guest Lecture: Dragonfly Eyes

Speakers: Xu Bing (independent artist)

When: 5:30 pm, Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Venue: Harvard University, CGIS South S020



The Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing, internationally renowned for his work in installation and printed media such as Book from the Sky and the Phoenix Project, came to Harvard University to deliver a talk on his concepts and creative journey. For the first time in the U.S., he discussed his first film project Dragonfly Eyes (2017). The 81-minute fiction film, composed entirely of authentic surveillance camera footage gathered from public online sources in China, has won critical acclaim since its debut at Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland last August. This “provocative film for our times which marries conceptual art with cinema in a fresh and unusual way” joined Toronto International Film Festival. The artist shared stores behind Dragonfly Eyes accompanied with short clips from the film. The talk was followed by a Q&A session, led by Professor Eugene Wang.

About the Speaker:

Born in Chongqing in 1955. Currently resides in New York. Trained at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

Xu Bing 徐冰 has chosen to respond to the definitive painting manual of Chinese landscape, the Mustard Seed Garden. Landscape motifs meant for instructional purposes are cut from their pages and rearranged to form a new panorama of rocks, trees and water, each element with its instructional text intact. The composition is then carved onto woodblocks from which long scrolls of landscape are printed. Through this seemingly mechanical process, Xu examines the issue of copy-making in the Chinese tradition, a critical step in an artist’s training and practice.


See event poster here.