Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Xuan Bei 旋鹎 (Spinning Bird)
  • Qiu Anxiong
    born 1972
    born: Chengdu, China
  • Xuan Bei 旋鹎 (Spinning Bird), 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
  • 2009.0111.03
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.
Spinning Bird/Helicopter (旋鵯, Xuan Bei)
To the west of Dahuang [the Great Desolation], there is a bird. [It has] four wings and a single tail. [It has only] one toe on each foot, and its toes are linked together. It [makes] a hong-hong sound that sounds like thunder. Its name is Xuan Bei [Spinning Bird/ Helicopter].

Exhibition Label:
"Qiu Anxiong: New Book of Mountains and Seas," Feb-2010, Kris Ercums
In the Western wastelands there is a bird with
four wings with talons connected at the ends.
It makes a sound as loud as thunder, and is
called the Spinning Bird.