Xu Lei and Xu Hualing

NanHai Art, Milbrae / United States

October 5–November 8, 2019
September 19, 2019
Opening: October 5, 5:30–6:30pm

NanHai Art
510 Broadway
Milbrae, California 94030
United States

T +1 650 259 2100
[email protected]


NanHai Art is pleased to present Paramita: Recent Works of Xu Lei, and Scent: Recent Works of Xu Hualing, bringing works of two leading artists in the realm of Chinese contemporary ink and Gongbi (fine-line) painting to the US West Coast. Both exhibitions are curated by Kuiyi Shen, Professor of Asian Art History, Theory, and Criticism, University of California, San Diego.

Xu Lei (b. 1963, Nantong, China) is one of pioneers in the realm of Chinese contemporary ink art, who participated in and experienced its whole process of development. In the middle of 1980s, Xu Lei threw himself into the New Wave movement and may serve as a bridge between New Literati painting and the avant-garde. Entering the 1990s, Xu Lei returned to traditional media, using the gongbi technique on xuan paper, with which he had begun his artistic career. In the past three decades, he entered the discourse of contemporary art with a merging of traditional fine-line painting (gongbihua) and classical Western visual motifs, using a sophisticated painting language to create a unique visual text.

Xu Hualing (b.1975, Harbin, China) is one of the most successful artists to carefully examine youth, particularly as experienced in the contemporary urban environment. Xu received solid academic training in traditional gongbi painting and life drawing. This virtuosity may be seen in every detail of the figurative images she paints. Her painting in many ways is similar to traditional gongbi painting or nihonga, but in actuality she goes beyond these conventions and styles and is moreover not limited to traditional painting materials.  The most important difference, however, is concept. What she aims to do by means of her own distinctive artistic language is to freely reveal her own view of the world, express her concern for the personal emotions of her subject, and probe the essential quality of their life.

The exhibitions will be open on Saturday October 5, in conjunction with the 2019 Asia Week San Francisco Bay Area. A symposium entitled In Ink: Current Trends of Ink Art will be hosted prior to the reception on October 5, 2–5:30pm.

About the artist
Xu Lei
(b. 1963, Nantong, China) graduated from Nanjing Art Academy, majoring in Chinese painting, and currently works at Chinese National Academy of Arts. Xu Lei's work has been exhibited in major exhibitions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim's 1998 survey of Chinese art and civilization China: 5000 Years; China/Avant-Garde (1989) at National Art Museum of China; Dragon's Nation: Contemporary Art of China (2004) at Irish Museum of Modern Art; Zeichen im Wandel der Zeit: Chinesische Tuschemalerei der Gegenwart (2008) at Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin; Reshaping History China Art from 2000 to 2010 at Beijing National Convention Center, and the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. His solo exhibitions have been held in the National Art Museum of China, Suzhou Museum, Today Art Museum and other places in Hong Kong, London, New York and Madrid etc.

Xu Hualing (b.1975, Harbin, China) graduated with a master degree in Chinese painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. Xu currently lives in Beijing, teaches in the Chinese Painting Department of CAFA. Selected Solo exhibitions: Guan Ju (Tang contemporary Art-Hong Kong, 2015),Eternal Beauty (F2 Gallery, Beijing, China; DF2 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA, 2007) Swords Girl (Kohler Muller Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland, 2008). Selected group exhibitions: Boundless: Ongoing—Chinese Ink Art 2017 (Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China, 2017), SHUIMO (Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2015), Silent Poetry (The University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2015) Variation: Contemporary Chinese Ink Art Series (Hive Center For Contemporary Art, Beijing, China,2014); Devotion to ink (HongKong Maritime Museum, Hongkong, 2014) Young Ink—The 8th International Ink Art Biennale of Shenzhen (Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shen Zhen, China, 2013), China Welcomes You (Oldenburg Museum, Germany, 2010.