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ESSAYS

Journey to the West

by David Frazier

After 20 years in the United States, what does it mean for Xu Bing to be back in China? 

XU BING, Book from the Sky, 1987–91, handprinted books, ceiling and wall scrolls, 

printed from wood letterpress type using fake Chinese characters, 

one hanging scroll: approx. 96.5 x 3500 cm; one book (open): 49 x 49 cm; one wall panel: 280 x 100 cm, 

installed for “Crossings” at National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1998. 

Courtesy Xu Bing Studio and National Gallery of Canada.

Perhaps the greatest testament to

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