Cui Fei

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Artists like Gu Wenda and Xu Bing have made the mystifying use of false Chinese characters a metaphor for the power and limitations of human language. To this Cui Fei, who came to the U.S. in 1996 after graduating from the China Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, has added a direct link to the natural origins of writing and systematic thought. Her works resemble exquisitely printed or inscribed sheets of paper, but are in fact created with precisely positioned twigs, thorns, seeds and tendrils-or, sometimes, with a nod to industrialized life, photogram images or deftly twisted wire. Maybe Hanne Darboven could read them.