Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
menu

Couplet: Learning from the Past, Moving Forward in Time

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Couplet: Learning from the Past, Moving Forward in Time

2009

Xu Bing

Chinese, born 1955

Contemporary artist Xu Bing, praised by Do Ho Suh as one of China’s most important artists, is internationally known for his installations that demonstrate how written words can be easily manipulated. Following the creation of his monumental Book from the Sky, for which he painstakingly carved some 4,000 illegible characters, Xu invented a new script in which characters are composed of alphabets. This couplet reads, "Learning from the Past; Moving Forward in Time. For the Seattle Art Museum."

Hanging scroll: ink on paper
56 1/2 x 16 3/4in. (143.5 x 42.5cm)
Gift of the artist in honor of Mimi Gardner Gates
2010.7.1-.2
Provenance: The artist, Beijing
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
location
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum

Resources

Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington. Asian Art Museum, "Calligraphic Abstraction," May 9, 2015 - October 4, 2015

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Luminous: The Art of Asia", October 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM