Xu Bing Studio Blog

Fest de Freiheit (Festival of Freedom) – 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov. 9, 2009)

Posted in Past Exhibitions, Square Word Calligraphy by xubing on November 9, 2009

Xu Bing presents his concrete “brick” at the German Embassy in Beijing on August 13th. Photo: Richeza Herrmann

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, the Goethe-Institut presents The Wall in the World, an exhibition of “bricks” designed by artists from around the world. The exhibition begins today in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as part of Festival of Freedom.

Xu Bing, one of four Chinese artists invited in May to create a polystyrene brick for the exhibition, choose instead to create his brick from a slab of concrete on which he inscribed a German translation of a Song Dynasty poem in Square Word Calligraphy. The poem by Lu You (1125-1210) describes a couple’s tragic separation and eventual reunion years later.

The four bricks, created by Chinese artists Xu Bing, Huang Rui, Wang Guangyi, and Zhang Xiaogang, were first presented at the German Embassy in Beijing on August 13th (construction began on the Berlin Wall on that day in 1961) and were later shipped to Germany for today’s events.