Art for the People   (1998)


Dye on polyester (9' x 36')

Commissioned by New York's Museum of Modern Art for an exhibition of banners entitled the projects series, the thirty-six foot banner hung outside the museum from November of 1999 to May of 2000. The design incorporates lettering from the New English Calligraphy project that the artist has been developing since 1994. English text has been re-positioned into square-word form and calligraphically designed to resemble Chinese writing. The text of the banner reads, "Chairman Mao said ART FOR THE PEOPLE", a popularization of Mao Tsetung's philosophical position regarding art and society. Rather than distancing himself from the slogan 'art for the people', Xu Bing employs the notion with his own interpretation and understanding.

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