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Chatsworth to unveil 'Tao Hua Yuan: A Lost Village Utopia' by Chinese artist Xu Bing
Chinese Artist Xu Bing Beyond Limits installation at Chatsworth. © Sotheby's.

DERBYSHIRE.- This year’s ‘Beyond Limits’ monumental sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth will feature the most ambitious work to date by one of China’s best-known and highly acclaimed artists, Xu Bing (see notes to editors). ‘Tao Hua Yuan: A Lost Village Utopia' will be unveiled on Monday 8 September and the exhibition will run until Sunday 26 October 2014.

To accommodate ‘ Tao Hua Yuan: A Lost Village Utopia', one of Xu Bing’s largest and most impressive works, Chatsworth has made special provision by situating it in and around the Seahorse fountain, a circular pond on the garden’s historic South lawn, which sits directly below the south façade of the house – a location usually off limits to visitors.

Xu Bing has used natural and man-made elements to create this multi-media work, in the form of ceramics, natural rock formations and exotic plants in addition to mist and lighting effects.

Curated by Sotheby’s, the six-week exhibition of monumental Contemporary outdoor sculpture features more than twenty works from around the world. Highly sought-after artists including Marc Quinn, Christopher Le Brun and Lori Park will be joined by landmark works from established Modern masters such as Aristide Maillol, Eduardo Chillida, and Baltasar Lobo, all on open display around the magnificent, 105-acre garden of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s Peak District estate.

Exhibits will be on display from 11am-6pm every day at no extra charge beyond normal garden admission.

Xu Bing: Born in Chongqing, China in 1955, Xu Bing has become one of China's best known and critically acclaimed artists, exhibiting in solo exhibitions and winning awards around the world. His work, spanning a variety of mediums (calligraphy, ink painting and installations) has been exhibited in some of the world’s most important institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), The Louvre (Paris) and two editions of the Venice Biennale.

The dream-like landscape of ‘Tao Hua Yuan: A Lost Village Utopia' was inspired by the classic Chinese fable “Tao Hua Yuan” (“Peach Blossom Spring”) written by the scholar Tao Qian in AD421, about a chance discovery of an ethereal utopia where people live in harmony with nature. To reproduce Tao Qian’s utopia, Xu Bing has created hundreds of ceramic objects and collected mountain rocks from five different regions in China to reflect the specific characteristics of their regional identities. The full extent of the sculpture, arranged concentrically around the pond, will be revealed at the opening of this year’s Beyond Limits. This three-dimensional installation has been designed to bring Chinese ink painting to life. As the visitors walk around and between the elements of the installation, the mountains, trees, houses and reflections coalesce into new tableaux vivant, enabling the viewer to experience Chinese ink painting in a three-dimensional sensory experience.

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