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Written images blur the lines

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

14:23, May 13, 2013

Purple, by Holzer, Jenny. (China Daily)

What writers say in words, artists show through images. Sometimes the distinction between the visual and the written is not so clear, according to the new exhibition at Rockbund Art Museum.

The exhibition From Gesture to Language: Trans-Forming Practices of Art Expression has gathered work by 26 contemporary artists from China and abroad, and from the collection of contemporary engravings in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It's an exhibition that "celebrates the creative and privileged links that unite the visual arts and the practice of writing in China and in Asia," says Larys Frogier, director of the RAM.

Pascal Torres Guardiola, curator of the Chalcography Department at Louvre, and Frogier, joined forces to put the exhibition together.

Chinese artist Xu Bing and his creation New English Calligraphy has gained international recognition.

Xu's work, Magic Carpet, combines the Roman alphabet and the structure of Chinese characters. At this exhibition the artist has presented a new installation The Order of Birds. He recreated the French poet Saint-John Perse's anthology of poems under the same title with over 3,000 letters cast in aluminum.

"Xu Bing's installation again returns the text into image and transforms it into a form of spatial writing," Frogier says.

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