Chinese artist Xu Tan's 'Keywords Project', begun in 2005, focuses on the relationship between vocabulary and consciousness. It consists of two components: 'Searching for Keywords' and 'Keywords School'. For the first part, 'keyword groups' are analyzed and compiled through interviews, surveys and collections from different regions of China. At the 'Keyword Schools', these keywords were discussed and exchanged in various public settings. 'Keyword Schools' has been carried out in Shanghai, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Shenzhen, Graz, New York, Guangzhou, Stockholm, Venice, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Qingdao, and Toronto. In 2011, the project came to a close at the Shenzhen OCT Contemporary Art Terminal. The present publication is a complete collection and introduction of the materials collected for this project.

Please note that two of the articles, 'Preface' by Huang Zhuan and 'On the Keywords of "Keywords": My Thoughts and Some Words' by Xu Tan, are available in English in a supplementary booklet attached to this publication.
Alternative title

Yu ci yi shi yu yi shu: xu tan 'guan jian ci' shi jue yu yan shi yan xiang mu dang an

Access level


Location code MON.XUT

Chinese - Simplified

Publication/Creation date


No of pages




No of copies


Content type

artist monograph, 


Chapter headings

- XU Tan, 徐坦


- HUANG Zhuan, 黃專, XU Tan, 徐坦


- WANG Jing, 王景

Vocabulary, Consciousness (yi shi), and Art - The 'Keywords' Case Files from Xu Tan's Visual Linguis
Rights statement

In Copyright

What does this mean?

This item is covered by one or more copyrights. It is available for research only or use within Hong Kong’s fair dealing rules. Please do not copy, re-use or reproduce this item without the permission of the copyright holder.

Vocabulary, Consciousness (yi shi), and Art - The 'Keywords' Case Files from Xu Tan's Visual Linguistic Experiments, 語詞、意識與藝術:徐坦“關鍵詞”視覺語言實驗項目檔案