Overview

Intelligence is needed to glue disciplines together and make coherence among them, and art is the approach to realize this intelligent process, to comprehend the world as a whole.

—Zhang Xiaoli

In her paintings, drawings, and prints, Zhang Xiaoli (b.1989) transforms classical Chinese mediums to create nuanced, captivating images that are at once playful and contemplative. The pictorial world of Zhang Xiaoli is composed of classically-inspired landscapes, ancient games, science, and its mystical counterparts. Her eclectic choices of subject matter stem partly from her unique experience of double majoring in Fine Arts and Biology while at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The supposedly opposing forces that are art and science find new harmony in Zhang’s artistic creations, offering holistic ways of understanding the world.

The interdisciplinary approach taken by the artist allows Zhang to collect elements from different domains—cosmology, physics, alchemy, biology, Chinese philosophy—and synthesize them into an integrated whole that imitates a kind of mental “cabinet of curiosities.” Her series Spiritual Wunderkammern draws from these inspirations and explores the clash of ideologies in an age of information overload. By juxtaposing classical landscapes with modern inventions and scientific references, Zhang investigates how one combines these different schools of thought in creating a virtual wunderkammern.

Classically inspired landscapes have remained an essential part in Zhang Xiaoli’s work. From her early project Dialogue Between Pop Culture and Traditional Chinese Painting, where she introduced the visual vocabulary of Lego toys to traditional Chinese landscape paintings, to her most recent project Surrealism in Landscape, landscape provides a nodal point in understanding Zhang’s practice. In Portable Landscape series, it is the bridge that connects tradition with contemporary culture, especially consumerism. Elsewhere, landscapes are elements of a game, an entry point towards Dao, or spiritual retreats during a pandemic. In creating what she calls the “postmodern landscapes” of this era, Zhang Xiaoli signals a pictorial return to nature and classicism, and injects this timeless tradition with a renewed confidence.

 
Works
Biography

Education

 

2021 Received Master of Arts degree at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
2014

Received Bachelor Degree with First Honour, double major in Fine Arts 

  and Biology,at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
2010 Exchange student at the University of California at Berkeley, USA
2008

Received the Ms. Chu Lam Yiu Full Scholarship

 

Moved to Hong Kong to study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

 

Selected Award

 

2021

Outstanding Graduation Work Award, Central Academy of Fine Arts

2014

Y.S. Hui Fine Arts Award

  Wucius Wong Creative Ink Painting Award
2013 Convocation Outstanding Creativity Student Award 2012/2013, 
  Chinese University of Hong Kong
2008 Ms. Chu Lam Yiu Full Scholarship

 

Solo Exhibition

 

2020 Li Galaxy, Tong Gallery & Projects+, Beijing, China
2019 Chen-Kwan, Daguan Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Selected Group Exhibition

 

2021 Suzhou Garden Art Festival, Cang Lang Ting Garden, Suzhou
2020 Contemporary Forms of Ink Painting, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
2019 Art Basel 2019, HKCEC,Hong Kong
  The Thirteenth National Art Exhibition Guang Dong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2018

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, 

 

Shanghai, China

2017

Desiring: Post 97 Hong Kong Ink Art, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2016

Beijing Youth Art Biennial, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2015

Senses: Exhibition of Works by Young Emerging Hong Kong Artist,

 

University Museum & Art Gallery, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong

2014

Fresh Trend 2014, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

 

Graduation Show of Fine Arts Department The Art Museum of Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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