Year 1553

2020. Ink and color on silk. 46.3×92.3cm.


2017. Color on silk. 78×64cm.

Rainbow Stone

2013. Color on silk. 267×562cm.


2013. Color on silk. 265×900cm.

Qi and Bone-Fan Kuan

2013. Color on silk,104×195cm.

Qi and Bone-Inkstone Mountain

2013. Color on silk,104×195cm.

Qi and Bone-Yunlin Stone

2013. Color on silk ,104×195cm.

Echo Wall

2012. Color on silk. 89×200cm.

As A Shadow

2011. Color on paper. 65×211cm.

Night Watcher

2011. Color on paper. 65×63cm.

Day in Night

2011. Color on paper. 65×112cm.

Moon Reflection

2011. Color on paper. 65×315cm.

Beyond the Sky

2011. Color on paper. 65×85cm.

Imperial Curtain

2010. Color on paper. 224×66cm.


2009. Work on Paper. 130×65cm.

As Time Goes By

2009. Color on paper. 90 x 172cm.

Decent of the Moon

2009. Color on paper. 114×208cm.

Memories of a Graceful Servant

2009. Color on paper. 90×170cm.

Dragon Horse Immortal

2009. Color on paper. 65×193cm.

Blue-Green Land

2008. Color on paper. 250×175cm.


2007. Color on paper. 66×100cm.


2007. Color on paper. 66×100cm.

World Pool

2007. Color on paper. 65×100cm.

Playing Chess

2007. Color on paper. 118×200cm.

Memory of an Empty City

2005. Color on paper. 65×85cm.

Doll on Table

2004. Color on paper. 85×65cm.


2004. Color on paper. 65×130.5cm.

Dark No. 2

2003. Color on paper. 90×65cm.

Night Exploration

2003. Color on paper. 54.5×25cm.

Chronicle of Butterflies

2002. Color on paper. 64×115cm.

Horse on Table

2002. Color on paper. 85×66cm.

The Blue and White Horse at Sea

2001. Color on paper. 117×65cm.

Shadow of An Eidolon

2001. Color on paper. 103×65cm.

Tale of the Empty City

2001. Color on paper. 65×107cm.


2000. Color on paper. 61×96cm.

Empty Pool

2000. Color on paper. 65×86cm.

Empty Word-Stone

2000. Color on paper. 45×65cm.

Empty Word-Tree

2000. Color on paper. 45×65cm.

Empty Word-Pavilion

2000. Color on paper. 45×65cm.

Empty Word-Chair

2000. Color on paper. 45×65cm.

Mirror Circus

1999. Color on paper. 62x86cm.

Love Potion

1999. Color on paper. 66×141cm.

The Bygones of Embroidered Shoes

1999. Color on paper. 85×65cm.


1998. Color on paper. 65×84cm.

City of Geckoe

1998. Color on paper. 66×145cm.

Date with Emperor Hui-tsung

1998. Color on paper. 130×61cm.

Deer in a Hat

1998. Color on paper. 65×88cm.

Empty Return

1997. Color on paper.130×65cm.

Empty Reflection

1997. Color on paper. 64×105cm.

Floating and Dripping

1997. Color on paper. 65×88cm.

The Horse in the Cage

1997. Color on paper. 87×65cm.

Blue Fog

1996. Color on paper. 65×89cm.

The Illusory Stone

1996. Color on paper. 65×89cm.

Wandering in the Night

1996. Color on paper. 65×103cm.

Xu Lei


Xu Lei’s visual rhetoric is rooted in an inherent dialectic and balance. He believes that art is not merely an expression of skill, nor a carrier of positions or ideas, but an intellectual practice, an opening of a way of knowing. His work is undoubtedly informed by art history, and some of his works even directly appropriated elements from the history of painting, both ancient and modern. This is only a superficial appropriation; his aim is not to establish a connection with art history, nor to point to a certain idea, but rather to provoke and tease out this iconography and thereby establish a visual rhetorical discourse.


1963 Born in Nantong, Jiangsu Province

1984 Graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Nanjing Arts Institute

Currently at the China Academy of Arts, Editor-in-chief of Classics


Solo Exhibitions

2016 Chinese National Academy of Arts Series Exhibition of Famous Artists – XuLei Solo Exhibition, National Museum of China, Beijing

          Xu Lei, Marlborough Gallery, New York

2015 Fugue – XuLei, Suzhou Museum, Suzhou

2013 Veneer of the World – Xu Lei, Today Art Museum, Beijing

2011 Luna en el Espejo – Xu Lei’s Solo Exhibition, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong Kong

          Solo Exhibition of Xu Lei, Asia House & Goedhuis Gallery, London

2010 Silent Voices: Ink Paintings by Xu Lei, Mee-seen Loong Fine Art LLC; Joan B Mirviss LTD, New York

2008 Xu Lei: Revivification of the Tradition, Asian Division of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

1999 Illusions: Xu Lei’s Art Exhibition, Keyi Gallery, Nanjing

1995 The Mystery of Absence: Xu Lei’s Art Exhibition, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1994 Solo Exhibition of Xu Lei, Jiangsu Art Museum, Jiangsu

1991 Xu Lei’s Painting Exhibition, Cultural Office of the Italian Embassy, Beijing


Group Exhibitions

2013 Lightness – One Clue and Six Faces, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

          Image/Illusion – Contemporary Chinese Art Series I, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing

          Ink, Sotheby’s, New York

          Logic of Ink Painting, XianShi Space, Beijing

          He Huan Wei Zhen: The Fable of Image – Chinese Contemporary Gongbi Invitational Exhibition, InkJ gallery, Nanjing

2012 Sanfanjiuran – New Gongbi Painting Invitational Exhibition, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai

          Chinese Literati Art Exhibition, ACAW, Fuller Center, New York

          The Revive of Tradition – Contemporary Art Exhibition, London International Book Fair, London

          The Original Form of Ink, Sanchuan Modern Art Museum, Nanjing

          Chinese Shangshi Ink Painting Exhibition, Asian Art Week in London, MD FLACKS Gallery

          Through All Ages – Long Museum Opening Series Exhibition, Long Museum, Shanghai

          Weary and Extend – Start From Nanjing, Sanchuan Modern Art Museum, Nanjing

2011 Future Pass – From Asia to the World Touring Exhibition, Venice, Italy

          2011 Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu, China

2010 Reshaping History China Art from 2000 to 2010, Beijing National Convention Center, Beijing

          Pavition of China at The 12th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

2009 The Living Chinese Garden, The Old State House of Brussels, Brussels

2008 Illusion/ Nature – The New Direction of Chinese Gongbi, Beijing Art Academies Gallery, Beijing

          Case Studies of Artists in Art History and Art Criticism, SZ Art Center, Beijing

          Zeichen im Wandel der Zeit: Chinesische Tuschemalerei der Gegenwart, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin; Staatlichen

          Kunstsammlungen Dresden

          New Age – The Road of Chinese Painting, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

          ZhifuThe Extention of Medium, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong

2007 What’s Next – Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

          Sensitivity – Memory form: Twelve Artists’ Works, Dimensions Art Center, Beijing

          Rotation, Nanjing Qinghe Contemporary Art Center, Nanjing

2006 South-east China, Group Exhibition of Hong Lei, Tang Guo and Xu Lei, Beijing TS1 Contemporary Art Center, Beijing

          Poetic Reality: A Reinterpretation of Jiangnan, RCM Gallery, Nanjing

          The New Classic Five People Exhibition, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial House, Taipei

          Group Exhibition of Zhu Wei, Xu Lei and Peng Wei, Season Gallery, Beijing

          Qi Cheng Zhuan He, Jiangsu Province Art Museum, Jiangsu

          Make Up – Chinese Opera Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum / Zhuqizhan Art Museum, Beijing / Shanghai

          Beyond Temporality: Presentation of Photography According to Contemporary Art Approach, Pingyao

          Conspire, Beijing TS1 Contemporary Art Center, Beijing

          Pele da cidade: Imagens of Metropole Contemporanea, Galeria Tap Seac of Macau / Shenzhen Museum of Art, Shenzhen / Macau

          Art Nova of Gongbi Group Exhibition, Nanjing Dajia Gallery, Nanjing

2004 One to One: Photographs from China, Chambers Fine Art, New York

          Photographs from Nanjing, Nanjing Art Museum, Nanjing

          Dragon’s Nation: Contemporary Art of China, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

          The First Nominative Exhibition of Fine Arts Literature, Wuhan

2003 The Different Same: Contemporary Art Exchange Exhibition, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai

2002 Behind the Reality Other Modernity, Dimensions Art Center, Taipei

          Paper / Colour, TaiKang Art Museum, Shanghai

          Beauty through Silk Screen: Original Contemporary Engraving Printing Exhibition, Today Gallery, Beijing

2001 The Conversation With Chagall: Dimen Thematic Art Exhibition, Art Shanghai, Shanghai

          Exhibition of Chinese Ink & Wash Paintings, Edinburgh

          Contemporary Silk-screen by Chinese Artists, Dynasty Art Group, Taipei

2000 Exhibition of 5000 Years of Chinese Art and Civilization, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

          Exhibition of Shanghai Art Museum’s Collection, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai

          Neo-Ink Paintings, Liuhaisu Art Museum / Jiangsu Province Art Museum, Shanghai / Jiangsu

          New Frontier-New Vision, Haishangshan Art Center, Shanghai

          Chinese Contemporary Ink paintings and Sculpture, Pierre Cardin Center, Paris

1998 Exhibition of 5000 Years Of Chinese Art and Civilization, Guggenheim Museum, New York

          New Voices: Contemporary Art Dialogue Among Taipei, Hong Kong Arts Centre / Dimensions Art Center, Hong Kong / Taipei

          5 Chinese Artist, Arte Nel Castello, Torino

1997 Xu Lei’s New Work, Browse / Darby Gallery, London

1996 Chinese Contemporary Art, International Art Garden Museum, Beijing

          The Art Show of Eight Artist From China, Browse & Darby Gallery, London

          The International Asian Art Fair, New York

1995 Walasse Ting & Xu Lei – The International Fine Art and Antiques for Asia, Singapore

1991 The Practical Art of Paper, Shanghai Library, Shanghai

1989 China / Avant-Garde, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

1987 Journey of Life: Painting Exhibition Act Two, Nanjing Publication Building, Nanjing

1986 Journey of Life: Painting Exhibition Act One, Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing

1985 Jiangsu Art Week of Youth / Great Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum, Nanjing

1984 The sixth National Fine Arts Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing

Please scan the QR code to follow us on WeChat :HIVEART2013