Books On Books Collection – “Book from the Sky to Book from the Ground” by Xu Bing (2020)

Book from the Sky to Book from the Ground (2020)
Xu Bing Casebound, paper on board cover, sewn and capped with headbands. H257 x W182 x D22 mm, 216 pages. Accordion fold insert of An Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy, 38 panels, first panel cover, last panel pasted down. Four-panel insert of Square Word Calligraphy — Red Line Tracing Book, first panel cover, last panel pasted down. Four-page insert on translucent paper of English translation of the original Chinese painting Himalayas Landscript (Sketchbook). The page count here includes the preliminaries and the translucent insert. Acquired from ACC Art Books, 21 January 2021.

Perhaps the artist’s best introduction to Book from the Sky (1986-2012), Square Word Calligraphy (1993~), Landscript Series (1999~), and Book from the Ground (2003~). The timeline appendix runs through 2019, including the exhibition “The Art of the People” held at the Centro del Carme Gallery in Valencia, Spain (see a documented visit here). The publisher’s production values are exceptional. The full-color printing on matte paper is as true to a first-hand view of the works as could be hoped. The inserts reproduce the larger, scarce Square Word Calligraphy works, which makes this volume a collectible item in its own right.

Further Reading

Xu Bing in ‘Beijing’: Art in the Twenty-First Century“, Art21, 25 September 2020.

Appreciating Xu Bing“, Books On Books, 31 December 2018.

“Farewell Our Globalism”, Xu Bing and the Guggenheim, Books On Books, 9 December 2017.

Xu Bing“, Books On Books, 28 February 2016.

Wan Kong, “The Character of Characters: Xu Bing’s Exploration of Chinese and Their Language“, UnFramed/LACMA, 23 June 2015.

Locations of works

Book from the Sky

Book from the Ground

An Introduction to Square Word Calligraphy

Five Series of Repetition

Background Story

Phoenix

The Character of Characters

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