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Happy #WorldEmojiDay! We are celebrating with a passage from Book from the Ground by Chinese artist Xu Bing. A book without words, it recounts a day in the life of an office worker, told completely in the symbols, icons, and logos of modern life. See if you can decipher this pictographic excerpt before reading the translation into English words from The Book about Xu Bing's Book from the Ground.



Mr. Black has to go all the way from the west side of the city to the east side. He ponders whether to take the subway or the bus. Using his smart phone he consults the traffic report, which indicates heavy traffic. It looks like the bus won't work, so he decides to take the subway. He goes down into the passageway and sees that the subway station is already packed with people.

He goes to the ticket vending machine and lines up to buy a ticket. The line is very long. He looks at this watch and knows that he is going to be late. He begins to sweat with anxiety. Five minutes pass by. The line slowly moves forward. He worries "If I'm late, I am going get chewed out by the boss again, and there's so much to do today." The line is moving so slowly that Mr. Black starts to go crazy.


  • Posted at 10:22 am on Mon, 18 Jul 2016 in art


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