Gallery Night at the UCCA
Posted 09/21/2018 11:01AM





On September 14th, Keystone Academy students visited the Ullen’s Center for Contemporary Art to experience Xu Bing’s masterpiece, “Thought and Method” as part of Keystone’s “I Love Artists” series. Students took their learning beyond the classroom and into the real world, experiencing firsthand the art world in action.  



Xu Bing’s retrospective exhibition, “Thought and Method”, highlights a series of work spanning over four decades and is comprised of drawings, prints, installation art, films, and a variety of documentary footage. Mr. Xu’s work vividly explores intercultural and sociopolitical themes in history and investigates the challenges of language and rhetoric in an increasingly multicultural and interconnected world. 






Behind Arts of Xu Bing


Secondary school students participated in a variety of workshops throughout the evening. Students used Mr. Xu’s reimagined Chinese character system, “Book from the Sky” (1987-1991), a treatise comprised of 4,000 illegible Chinese characters compiled into a four-volume manuscript exploring and challenging Chinese intellectual and political imagination in the late 20th century. Students created beautiful scripts using Mr. Xu’s language system, expanding their minds about the limitations and universality of language. The workshops also helped students learn about how language and art can unite people of all walks of life and develop a deeper understanding of the advantages of a more globalized world.  





Diploma Programme Art students engaged in serious dialogues with DP Art teacher Mr. Bolsyn Urmuzov during the exhibition, who challenged students to rethink social and political themes in contemporary conceptual art and incorporate different styles in their artworks for their IB Art Process Portfolios and DP Comparative studies. Students were led on a private, guided tour of the exhibition by a student-curator at the UCCA.  











Students definitely benefited. They had an opportunity to walk through the gallery under the supervision of a UCCA curator with an in-depth understanding of Xu Bing artworks. Students also witnessed the extraordinary use of various materials to create art pieces. It was an absolute success and I am more than sure that everyone from the Keystone community who went gained a lot and reveled in the opportunity to look at Chinese cultural heritage from a new perspective!

—  Mr. Urmuzov













For all Keystone students, this experience provided critical insight into art processes and practices which they can utilize in their own artistic projects. Students witnessed first-hand the merits of linguistic creativity, conceptual art performativity, and learned about their own cultural heritage through Mr. Xu’s brilliant exhibition. 












 In an interview with the UCCA, Mr. Xu states,






My art has always been about the same things, even if the forms and materials are different. 





As students continue to harness and hone their artistic prowess in and outside of Keystone classrooms, they will contribute to dynamic and vibrant art communities across the globe and make meaningful impacts that create new experiences and promote personal growth.




Please click here to watch a video of this year's event at the UCCA. 






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