Launching the Centre’s new Thomas Street gallery in 2003, this exhibition by New York based artist Xu Bing, investigated the creation of language, how it is learned, the barriers and structures it creates, and the meaning and non-meaning of the written word. The works featured Bing’s ‘Square Word Calligraphy’, a rendering of English words in the distinctive square form of Chinese Characters. For the exhibition, the artist created a 3D installation, which continued his exploration of language. Starting with the English definition of bird, the word takes flight gradually transforming into Square Word Calligraphy to the Chinese character for bird until they finally transformed to a flock of flying birds. The installation also featured birdcages featuring toy songbirds which were sound activated. The cages were decorated with words featuring Latin, Chinese and Square Word Calligraphy scripts.
During the exhibition, the Centre ‘s new ‘Education Suite’ was turn into a classroom to teach New Square Calligraphy to school groups and visitors. The private view was held on the 27th November and was part of the Centre celebration to mark the opening of the new building. Other events associated with the exhibition was a Curator’s Talk by the Centre’s Sally Lai on 13th December.