Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Au Tuo 敖驼 (Auto)
  • Qiu Anxiong
    born 1972
    born: Chengdu, China
  • Au Tuo 敖驼 (Auto), 2008
  • Xin Shanhai Jing 新山海经 (New Book of Mountains and Seas)
  • Where object was made: China
  • woodcut
  • Paper Type: rice paper
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 420 x 500 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 16 1/2 x 19 5/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 497 x 577 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 19 9/16 x 22 11/16 in
    Mat Dimensions: 32 x 24 in
  • Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2009.0111.01
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia", 11-Nov-2016
This print portfolio suggests a traditional Chinese book, but depicts the fantastical creatures featured in chapter one of Qiu Anxiong’s video trilogy The New Book of Mountains and Seas. Each of the bizarre creatures is accompanied by an inscription using archaic terminology and composed in classical Chinese that simulates the Shanhai Jing, a second-century geographic text describing strange creatures in distant lands, upon which the name of the video trilogy is derived.
Auto (敖駝, Ao Tuo)
This creature was first found on the continent of Ameilikan [America]. Its head is flat, while its belly is hollow. Its shell shines like jade. It has big eyes like torches. It has wind-wheels for feet, and never eats food but drinks only oil. Traveling a thousand miles in a single day, it surpasses the best horse. Nowadays all people ride on it. Its name is Ao Tuo [Auto], but it was also called Qizhe [Strange Wheeled Car].

Exhibition Label:
"Qiu Anxiong: New Book of Mountains and Seas," Feb-2010, Kris Ercums
There is a beast on the American continent with a turning head and an empty belly. Its back is like glass and its eyes are as large as lamps. Its feet turn as fast as wheels. It does not eat, but drinks oil instead. It runs one thousand li [miles] in a single day and is faster than the strongest horses, and can be ridden by common folk. It is called the Auto, or qiche [car].