Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Presence in Language: Tracing the Relationship of Text and Space in Contemporary Chinese Art Public Deposited
  • The thesis focuses on three artists who represent the origins, expansion, and future of text-based spatiality in contemporary Chinese art. Each artist, Gu Wenda (born 1955), Tao Aimin (born 1974), and Xu Bing (born 1955), proposes ways of conceptualizing text-based art derived from the rejection of artistic calligraphic tradition in the 1980s New Wave. Gu Wenda’s pseudo-text installation Babel of the Millennium consumes its architecture and fortifies a literalized interior space which relates to his conversation around geopolitical collectivization, and China’s modernization with growing international artistic presence in the 90s. Tao Aimin uses space to recognize the textual narrative embedded in the materiality of her installation River of Women and opens possibilities of documenting history during the era of China’s expanding domestic art market. Xu Bing defies the space in his Gravitational Arena installation by perceiving Buddhist philosophical space while bridging new discourse on technology, China’s cyber space, and the world’s future. These works engage with the global study on the interaction between space and text, and their relationship with viewer’s experience, through which meanings are generated and negotiated.

Date Issued
  • 2023-08-17
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Last Modified
  • 2024-01-17
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Rights Statement