Monday, October 24, 2011

"Xu Bing: Tobacco as Subject and Medium" Now Featured at the VMFA

Having opened on September 10, 2011 and running through December 4, 2011 in the Evans Court Gallery at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Xu Bing: Tobacco Project explores the production and culture of tobacco as seen through the eyes of one of China's most innovative and contemporary artists. The exhibit combines important pieces from the artist's earlier projects at Duke University in North Carolina and the Shanghai Gallery of Art in China with new work inspired by visits to tobacco farms, warehouses, and cigarette factories in Virginia.

Xu Bing uses tobacco--as a material and a subject--to explore a wide range of issues, from global trade and exploitation to the ironies of promoting a potentially harmful substance.  As a printmaker and bookmaker, he is especially fascinated by the visual culture of packaging and marketing tobacco.  In exploring the complex relationships between people and tobacco, the project ultimately concerns fundamental issues of human culture and of tobacco as a medium of social exchange.

Xu Bing's first visits to Virginia included a tour of the Philip Morris manufacturing center in Richmond and trips to a historic tobacco warehouse and several family-owned tobacco farms in the Southside region of Virginia.  He also conducted research at the Valentine Richmond History Center.  Maury Place at Monument is within walking distance of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument