Xu Lei was born in 1963 in Nantong, Jiangsu Province. He works at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and is Art Director of Today Art Museum in Beijing.


Xu Lei played a role in 1985’s New Wave art movement in China, and his work is a powerful yet sensitive juxtaposition of Chinese aesthetics and western innovations. Notable inspirations include Yves Klein, Marcel Duchamp, and René Magritte. Curtains to divide space like a stage, Ming dynasty furniture, birds, high-heeled shoes, cages, and folding screens are all elements which lend simultaneous unpredictability and harmony to his work, which is executed with a deft mastery of ink brush and rice paper.


Xu Lei’s art may be seen at the Shanghai Art Museum, the Nanjing Art Institute, the Today Art Museum and Asian Division of the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. among others. Xu Lei has also shown his work at the National Art Museum of China, Guggenheim Museums in New York, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Hong Kong Arts Centre and several other museums and institutions.