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xubing phoenix sakata

Chinese artist Xu Bing spent two years creating his newest work, Phoenix, a pair of 12-ton phoenix sculptures made entirely from scrap Bing culled from construction sites in China, “including demolition debris, steel beams, tools, and remnants of the daily lives of migrant laborers.” The male phoenix, named Feng, is 90 feet long, while the female phoenix, Huang, is 100 feet from beak to tail. The pair are on display through October 27 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, suspended from the ceiling inside the museum’s Building 5.

xubing phoenix sakata2

Here’s a fascinating video on the installation process, made by The Dark Sky Company, LLC, with music by Wilco:

And a series of images shot by Hideo Sakata (including the ones above):
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xubing phoenix sakata detail2

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xubing phoenix sakata detail3

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xubing phoenix sakata detail4

xubing phoenix sakata detail

[via My Modern Met]

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.



  1. ameyring says:

    What is “scrap Bing?” Is it a Chinese term for construction debris?

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      “a pair of 12-ton phoenix sculptures made entirely from scrap [that] Bing culled from construction sites in China”

  2. MASS MoCA says:

    Thanks Goli! We are Make magazine fans at MASS MoCA – unique and massive projects like these are our favorites. Would you credit our friends at Wilco for the music on the timelapse video? They love Xu Bing’s Phoenix as much as we do. Cheers

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      Done! My pleasure! We’re thrilled you are MAKE fans :)