Zhen (MadeIn Company), Xu est. 2009  / Galileo's Bird
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Zhen (MadeIn Company), Xu est. 2009  / Galileo's BirdZhen (MadeIn Company), Xu est. 2009  / Galileo's BirdZhen (MadeIn Company), Xu est. 2009  / Galileo's BirdZhen (MadeIn Company), Xu est. 2009  / Galileo's Bird
about this work

The series of collages “Spread” consists of a combination of imagery from various cultures gleaned from the Internet (medieval images, caricature prints, classic paintings, exotic bestiaries, etc.). As traditional tapestries narrate epic scenes, this series of works features representations of historical events, portraits of political figures, mythological and religious scenes. These miscellanea of ideologies and cultural elements present various aspects of our understanding on the History of Humanity. 

"Galileo’s Bird", refers to scientific knowledge and understanding of our world at different levels, combining elements of esotericism, magic, and apocalypse.An owl, embodying notions of magic, spirituality and death, is settled on a telescope (astronomic instrument improved by Galileo). Beneath, an anchor with two snakes wound along its axis symbolizes two antagonist tendencies, intertwined together in a perfect balance, on a stable basis. By extension, this emblem alludes here to the writing by Galileo, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems a parallel between the understandings of the world from a scientific and religious point of view, a concept that is reiterated in different part of the composition. A polar bear, drifting on a piece of ice, relates to an apocalyptic situation generated by the development of technology throughout Human History and its lost of control.

The contrast of both Chinese as well as Western imagery is especially noteworthy in light of the work being by MadeIn, Xu Zhen’s “contemporary art-creation company, focused on the production of creativity.” The tapestry’s textiles and the production company’s name point to the unique labor and class concerns of China, and perhaps more strongly toward China’s “production” of a cultural identity and Western assumptions often projected onto it.

Xu Zhen (MadeIn Company) (est. 2009 , China)

Galileo's Bird, 2012

Mixed media on canvas
268 x 180 x 20 cm.
105 1/2 x 70 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.
Long March Space, Beijing, China Current Location:
Hong Kong - Phillips HK Mixed Media Wall WorkFar East

Artwork History
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  • exhibitions
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