Portraits of artists: Xu Bing

The very first time I saw his artworks, I knew he would remain one of my favorite contemporary Chinese artists. That artwork is called “Book from the Ground.” It depicts a day of a man’s life with emojis, and emojis only. Witty and full of humor. Then there is “Book from the Sky,” in which he creates characters that look very real, but are actually conjured up by him. No one can understand those beautiful characters. Thus named book from the sky.  Great imagination. Even greater is its philosophical message.  If Xu creates something, it is something important, something worth our attention and contemplation. Recently, I am fascinated by his movie “Dragonfly Eyes.” A very powerful movie.  I photographed him when he came to Hong Kong for the premiere of “Dragonfly Eyes.” This movie may remind you of the warning from George Orwell’s “1984.” But Mr. Xu says, “no, it is beyond that.” I quite agree with him. Even George Orwell might be shocked by how we willingly, sometimes eagerly surrender ourselves to the public eyes in this digital and internet age.  And here is the trailer of  “Dragonfly Eyes,” a film without actors, actresses and a camera crew.  Brilliant, isn’t it?



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