Behind Utopia: Xu Bing’s Travelling To Wonderland

It is not about accepting that the world is not perfect, but finding the beauty in everything, even to those things that seem to be wrong…

The Magnificent Something

I have always been fascinated by things that are not as they seem; first glances deceive- second might convince, but look closer, deeper and you will see what lies beneath. A cover model’s beauty enhanced by a few Photoshop brush strokes, a holiday brochure showing a filtered paradise, a moment that looks better in the picture than in real life. A picture-perfect perfect picture.
This is why I am standing in the middle of the poring rain, looking at a destination that proved to be as temporary as the footprints that led the visitor there. The John Madejski Garden at the V&A was transformed by Chinese artist Xu Bing into an ethereal utopia. Inspired by Tao Yuanming‘s 421AD classic Chinese fable Tao Hua Yuan (Peach Blossom Spring), the story narrates a land in which people lead an ideal existence in harmony with nature unaware of the outside…

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