Gallery: 500,000 Cigarettes Used to Create Xu Bing’s Amazing Tiger Skin...

The artist has examined different elements of the tabacco industry.
The artist has examined different elements of the tabacco industry.

This installation is just one part of the prolific artist’s Tobacco Project which examines the culture and production of tobacco from the perspective of this contemporary Chinese artist. Laid out across the exhibition hall at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the ‘rug’ transforms the cigarettes into a creative material, unearthing contemporary and historical ideas about this powerful industry.

Inspired by recent visits to tobacco farms and cigarette factories in Virginia, Bing’s extensive collection of work explores themes from global trade to marketing and packaging and the exportation of tobacco products. The exhibition will be on view until December 4th, before it tours to Connecticut. If you are in the area, it is a must-see show.

+ Xu Bing
+ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Images courtesy of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


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  1. Francoise February 18, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Whaauw amazing work. I’ve seen another work with cigarettes in Art Brussels some years ago, with 750.000 used cigarette butts. Was smelly! Wondering how they collected it. It was from the artist Peter De Cupere. Have a look to the photos of the work on this website

  2. Iliketosave32234 November 28, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Ok there is a video showing him making this. It’s made with real cig’s he bought. If he used 500,000 to make it he spent $125,000 just to get the cigs at a cheap price. go here to read about this ridiculousness.

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