Two-Dimensionality in Installation Art: The Case of Xu Bing, Wenda Gu, and Yang Jiechang

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Installation art is a popular postmodern art genre that accommodates diverse mediums, styles, and social-political issues. There is, however, a lack of analysis of how the space in installation art affects its reception. This article examines the two-dimensional quality in early installation art by Chinese artists. Early Installation works reflect Chinese artists’ academic training, which is primarily in two-dimensional mediums—oil, prints, and ink. I argue that their uses of space indicate distinct aesthetic strategies, reflecting theatrical possibilities. The flat surfaces index how artists position themselves in relation to an international audience and develop biographic identities that are instrumental in their role as global migrators. Within these strategic conceptions of exhibition, Chinese experimental artists treat installation space less as a participatory platform which engages the audience, than as a powerful realm for monumental display with culturally specific details.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXu Bing : Beyond the Book from the Sky
EditorsSarah E. FRASER, Yu-Chieh LI
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789811530647
ISBN (Print)9789811530630
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameChinese Contemporary Art Series
ISSN (Print)2199-9058
ISSN (Electronic)2199-9066


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  • Xu Bing : Beyond the Book from the Sky

    FRASER, S. E. (Editor) & LI, Y.-C. (Editor), Jul 2020, Springer Singapore. 182 p. (Chinese Contemporary Art Series)

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