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Massive Phoenixes Made of Remnants from Construction Sites

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Chinese contemporary artist Xu Bing's aptly titled Phoenix soars above viewers, made from the remnants of old construction sites in China. The large-scale sculptural installation consists of two massive birds, each comprised of countless materials that include steel beams, hard hats, chains, pipes, tanks, tools, and other remnants from the migrant laborers who worked on the urban construction sites. The project is the result of two years of collection and assembly.

Xu's enormous creations, weighing 12 tons and measuring 90 and 100 feet in length, are sculptural representations of cultural evolution and the lives of those who have given their energy and strength to spark a cultural and architectural change in China. The project states: “At once fierce and strangely beautiful, the mythic Phoenixes bear witness to the complex interconnection between labor, history, commercial development, and the rapid accumulation of wealth in today's China.”

Phoenix is currently on display, for the first time ever outside of China, at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) through October 27, 2013.











Photo credit: Hideo Sakata/MASS MoCA
Xu Bing website
via [farewell kingdom, Junkculture]

Pinar

Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at NBC Universal, Penguin Books, and the Tribeca Film Festival as well as many other independent media companies. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies—anything from foreign art house films to mainstream blockbusters.
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