A Moment in Time: Xu Bing in Rome


A Moment in Time: Xu Bing in Rome

A graphic description of the event

The exhibition A Moment in Time: Xu Bing in Rome is a newly commissioned show of the artist Xu Bing (2024 Resident) at the American Academy in Rome. It features artwork created in its entirety during his residency at AAR. The opening reception takes place on Wednesday, May 22 from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

A Moment in Time aims to explore central themes of Xu Bing’s oeuvre, including language, nature, civilization, and semiotics, while also challenging fundamental conceptions of Chinese culture and incorporating the city of Rome in the making of the show. By juxtaposing Eastern and Western objects from ancient civilizations with Xu Bing’s own creations, the exhibition seeks to question conventional notions of history and knowledge.

Xu Bing’s research often prompts viewers to reconsider their perceptions of so-called “straightforward communication,” offering alternative ways of seeing and understanding. By embracing a broad perspective on contemporary artistry, the exhibition underscores Xu Bing’s significance and relevance as an artist capable of transcending both Western and Eastern tenets and conventions.

On view Thursday, May 23 to Saturday, June 29, A Moment in Time is curated by Ilaria Puri Purini (Andrew Heiskell Arts Director) with Lexi Eberspacher (Programs Associate for the Arts and Exhibition Coordinator).

Collateral Events

Wednesday, May 29
Artist’s Talk: Xu Bing in Conversation with Ornella De Nigris, senior researcher at the Università di Arezzo

Thursday, June 27
An Evening of Performances with the artists Shuai Peng and Anshika Agrawal, organized by Johanne Affricot, curator-at-large for the American Academy in Rome


Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 4:00 to 7:00pm.

About the Artist

Xu Bing is widely recognized as the leading conceptual artist of language and semiotics working today, expanding the boundaries of art with inventive breakthroughs in his artistic creations. He is a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. His work has been shown at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; British Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Gallery of Prague; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Additionally, Xu Bing has participated in the 45th, 51st, and 56th Venice Biennales, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Johannesburg Biennale, among other international exhibitions.

In 1999, Xu Bing was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the highest creative talent award in the United States in recognition of his “capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy.” In 2003, he was conferred the 14th Fukuoka Asian Culture Award for his “contribution to the development of Asian culture.” In 2004, he won the first Artes Mundi Prize in Wales: “Xu Bing is an artist who can transcend cultural boundaries, convert Eastern and Western cultures, and express his thoughts and practical issues in visual language.” In 2006, the Southern Graphics Council conferred on Xu Bing its lifetime achievement award in recognition of the fact that his “use of text, language, and books has impacted the dialogue of the print and art worlds in significant ways.” In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from Columbia University. In 2018, he was awarded the “Xu Beihong-Art Creation Award” by the Education Development Foundation of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Xu Bing is currently the Tsao Family Foundation Resident in Art at the American Academy in Rome.

Date & time
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
6:00 PM
AAR Gallery
McKim, Mead & White Building
Via Angelo Masina, 5
Rome, Italy
Security notice

For access to the Academy, guests will be asked to show a valid photo ID. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than 40 x 35 x 15 cm (16 x 14 x 6 in.) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available. You may not bring animals (with the exception of seeing-eye/guide dogs).


The Academy is accessible to wheelchair users and others who need to avoid stairs. Please email us at events@aarome.org if you or someone in your party uses a wheelchair or other mobility devices so that we can ensure the best possible visitor experience. If you are someone with a disability or medical condition that may require special accommodation, please also email us at events@aarome.org.