Xiao Xu was born in Chongqing in 1983. He lives and works in Beijing.


Xiao Xu’s paintings harness the media (brush, ink, and paper) and language (rocks, mist, water) of classical times, imbued with an atmosphere of mystery, dreams and fantasy. His work is characterized by dark shades, the roaming of unexpected beasts and the juxtaposition of modern, symbolic components such as the chain-link fence. His inspirations are literary (including Franz Kafka, Henry Thoreau, and Italo Calvino) as well as artistic and historic.


Solo shows have included Streams of Eventide at Ora-Ora in Hong Kong in 2018 and Envisioning the Immortal Island at MOCA Studio Taipei. He has regularly shown with Ora-Ora at Art Basel Hong Kong, and at group exhibitions such as Devotion to Ink in 2014.