30 Years of CFCCA | Xu Bing

Book from the Ground

5 February – 28 February, Preview – Thursday 4 February, 7-9pm
Part of the 30 years of CFCCA launch

Gallery 1
In 2003 we invited the internationally acclaimed artist Xu Bing to launch our Thomas Street venue. His exhibition was not only the first in our current building, but his first exhibition in the UK.

Xu Bing - 2006-2014_Book from the Ground_4 - WEB Xu Bing - 2006-2014_Book from the Ground, Xu Bing's studio

Thirteen years later we present another UK premiere – Xu Bing’s Book from the Ground, a novel written in a “language of icons”. This 112 page novel depicts 24 hours in the life of an ordinary office worker, Mr Black, from 7am one morning to 7am the next, as he wakes, eats breakfast, goes to work, meets friends, looks for love online and goes out on a date. The book has punctuation marks, but no text; in place of words there are pictograms, logos, illustrative signs and emoticons, all taken from real symbols in use around the world.

In Gallery 1 we recreate the artist’s studio where over a period of seven years he devised his universal language, designed to be understood by anyone engaged with modern life anywhere in the world.

In 2016, CFCCA celebrates its 30 year anniversary with a high profile exhibition programme spanning 6 months featuring some of the very best Chinese contemporary artists of today.

Click here to find out more.


Xu Bing
Book from the Ground
Ink jet on vellum, thread binding, cloth cover
31 x 22.5 x 1.7 cm