October 12th through November 17th, 2013

VIP reception: Saturday October 12th, 6-8pm

Artists: aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran,Heman Chong, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Guo Hongwei, Li Ran, Michael Lin, Henrik Olesen, Qiu Anxiong, Wang Taocheng, Werker Magazine (Marc Roig Blesa & Rogier Delfos), Ming Wong and Zhao Zhao.

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present group exhibition “Reading”, featuring a selection of works from aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Heman Chong, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Guo Hongwei, Zhao Zhao and Michael Lin among others. The show runs from September 9th through to November 27th.

Taking over both the gallery space and the Bund’s Le Space, the exhibition surveys the act of ‘reading’, exploring its role in history, in modern times as well as in present day. Throughout the development of mankind and human civilization, we have relied and depended on reading to gain, gather or communicate knowledge and information for all disciplines; for example, Chinese literati scholars required poetry to be shared through reading before it was considered a complete work, and reading became a means not only to express oneself but to understand others. Whether it be reading nature, reading the stars, reading technology, reading literature, reading performance, or reading art, the manner of reading has been vital not only for individuals, but for vital understanding of the people, objects, disciplines both closely and far away. Using this prompt, this exhibition displays the manifestations of reading in the selected artists’ practices, demonstrating the varieties of definitions and approaches to ‘Reading’.

Opening with two of aaajiao’s provoking works, are his two information installations GFWlist and BlogArchaeological (both 2010) both of which surround issues of ‘reading’ online. In playing homage to the dystopian futuristic world of Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: Space Odyssey, GFWlist finds a small printer set in the middle of a black monolith, continuously printing information in hexadecimal – an alien-like encrypted language unfamiliar to most. What is being produced by the printer in the metaphorical “gateway” are domains of websites blocked by the Great Chinese Firewall, but its ineligibility prevents the gateway from being open to its viewer. Thereby aaajiao’s ironic further blockage of what is already blocked, discusses the act of authoritative expurgation in relation to the development and evolution of culture and civilization in the digital age. In BlogArchaeological, aaajiao depicts yet again the present day common-practice of virtual reading, as he produces a personal collection of his own digital library. Set within a curio table are ten digital scales, each measuring a year’s worth of content in .jpeg and .html format collected from the web-culture revolutionary  who coined the term “blog”, Jorn Barger’s on an SD card. With each archive weighing slightly differently, aaajiao questions the physicality of virtual information, as well as the notion of infinite and immeasurable data in cyberspace.

Interpreting the subject of ‘reading’ in a comparatively traditional manner is Chen Wei’s A Book with a Green Cover (2011). Made during his residency in Yokohama, after finding an old edition of one author Kōbō Abe’s books. Being Chinese and only able to read the Hanzi characters of the Japanese script, Chen Wei began to fill in the Kanji “gaps” with his own imagination. Physically manifesting his process of reading through this artwork, taking in turns with his assistant to add Chinese characters to the deleted sections, the book ends up as an exquisite corpse, based on the visualized foundation of the author combined with the varying imaginations of Chen Wei and his assistant. Thereby through this work, the viewer is able to gain insight into a form of “collective reading”. Also re-interpreting several modern classics popular amongst the youth of the 80s and 90s in China is Heman Chong, whose displayed selection of works arrive from an ongoing series interpreting various read fictions into an abstract expressionist book cover form.

In Beijing based Guo Hongwei’s It Must be a Good Work (2013), the artist creates a sixty-seven page manga-comic ‘book’, using manga books of his own collection. Choosing almost randomly pages from various books, he rids the pages of all but the content frames and text bubbles before placing them in order to recreate a foundation for a story of his own deciding. Giving only hints through the framing shapes and the pictured texts, Guo Hongwei invites the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination. Guo’s other four works on show, such as Invitation to Wine (Jiang Jin Jiu) and Beauty (Mei Ren) (both 2011), are collaborative pieces between the artist and his father Guo Qiang, a renowned calligrapher based in Sichuan. Created by sending his father four blank sheets alongside four classical poems from the Tang and Song dynasties, Guo’s father transcribed the works in differing calligraphy scripts according to his interpretations of them. Upon return, Guo included his own interpretation of the poems by carefully picking out ‘keywords’ to be searched in Google Images, before illustrating the found images in accompaniment to his father’s work.

Two works tackling very personal stories and recounts are by artists Cheng Ran and Ryan Gander. In Cheng Ran’s video Existence Without Air, Food or Water (2013), the artist creates a visual accompaniment for his self-produced song based on a salvaged anonymous diary detailing a young girl’s life. Split into two parts and two larger scenes and filmed entirely on his smartphone camera Cheng Ran offers two various interpretations of the incredibly individual story; first in the form of a ‘music video’ in which we see the protagonist singing and strumming a bass guitar in sync to the music, and secondly in the form of a road trip, created through combining collected footage from the artist’s personal travels. In Ryan Gander’s The Book of ‘The Sitting’, the viewer sees an open book lying face down inside a vitrine. Whilst open, the book and thus story is completely unreachable, and never to be read. The artist, while literally giving his life away like ‘an open book’, remains closed, and his confessional story never to be read.

Alternating the perspective to that of a child with little ‘reading experience,’ Michael Lin creates two sets of diptychs of children’s kindergarten books. Enlarging works by his children and their classmates’ educational drawing books, he pairs a ‘normal’ object, such as a Computer in Dian Nao and an umbrella in Yu Sai (both 2012), with two examples of specifically named warfare airplanes. Through these works, Lin points out to the information we are given and taught, and the need to question when reading materials of any kind.

Tackling the act of reading through its more abstract definition, Zhao Zhao depicts for us the manner in which he reads into various artworks and objects around him. In the mixed media installation of Euro and Toothpick (2007), which displays for the viewer the photographic process from which the artist creates to his final products of a set of wooden toothpicks and metal coins, Zhao Zhao shows us his vandalism of both Ai Weiwei and Anselm Kifer’s works, taking parts as materials to create his own. Through these works, Zhao Zhao explains his own reading of art history and of other artists’ works, as well as the practical manifestation of his ‘readings’.

In a special commission for the exhibition, Simon Fujiwara’s Lucky Dip, which stems from his much celebrated project Welcome to the Hotel Munber (2008-2010), uses the topic of reading to discuss history. The site specific installation which depicts objects often found in a Spanish bar, such as a leg of ham, a terra-cotta pot or a guitar, uses paper mâché to shape the hanging items. Using pulped homosexual literature and texts as its main material, Fujiwara utilizes his work to reflect Spain under the Franco dictatorship, placing its’ then very illegal publications ironically into some of the nation’s most prized possessions.

In Mont Sainte-Victoire (2012), Li Ran employs a myriad of sound layers and dubbing as a means of reading his script in hand. Using this artwork, Li Ran explores the art of dubbing, and the way in which reading can be utilized as performance.

Ming Wong’s three-channel video installation The Life and Death in Venice (2010) reinterprets both the 1912 novel Death in Venice by Thomas Mann and the 1971 film adaptation by Luchino Visconti. Filmed during his time at the 53rd Venice Biennale, the artist places himself into the role of the protagonist, Ming Wong uses elements from his reading of both versions of the fiction to create a confessional piece on his own personal crises.

Henrik Olesen’s employs 4 posters (2008) as tribute of sorts to Alan Turing’s life as a tragic hero, who, as homosexual in the early 20th century looses his happiness, life and body due to the boundaries of the period he lived in. Using Turing’s own scientific publications, Olesen re-appropriates text to create a work on the philosopher’s life.

Two literature-reactionary pieces in the exhibition come from Wang Taocheng and Qiu Anxiong. In video Reflection Paper No.2 (2013), Wang Taocheng contemplates her reactions towards an Eileen Chang novella, and how through reading she relates to a person a century ago. Similarly, Qiu Anxiong’s work also compares itself to Chinese literature of the past, through its’ illustrative observations and ‘new’ recreations of the mythical Classics of Mountains and Seas (Shan Hai Jing).

Also on show are a series of publications titled Werker Magazine (2009-ongoing) created by artist Marc Roig Blesa and  Rogier Delfos, who collect and assembled edited historical materials of workers from a range of photography archives.



For further information, please email the gallery or phone +86 21-34611245.



Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence

March 18th through April 30th, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, March 17th, 6-8pm

David Kordansky Gallery and Leo Xu Projects are pleased to present “Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence”, a collaborative group exhibition held at Leo Xu Projects, Lane 49, Building 3, Fuxing Xi Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai. The show will be on view from March 18 until April 30, 2017. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 17 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.

Featuring artists from both of the galleries’ programs, Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence will examine how a wide and heterogeneous array of aesthetic positions can reflect, refract, and bear witness to an uncertain state of global affairs. The exhibition will include work by Kathryn Andrews, Andrea Büttner, Chen Wei, Heman Chong, Sam Gilliam, Zach Harris, Evan Holloway, Rashid Johnson, Gabriel Lester, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan, Pixy Liao, Jonas Lund, Tala Madani, Chris Martin, Torbjørn Rødland, Sissel Tolaas, Tom of Finland, Wei Jia, Ming Wong, and Betty Woodman.

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CHEN WEI: The Club
March 24 – May 7, 2017
Opening: Thursday 23 March, 6–8pm
Centre for Contemporary Photography
404 George St, Fitzroy
Melbourne, Victoria 3065

Titled “The Club”, Chen Wei’s first institutional solo exhibition in Australia is to open on March 23, 2017 and runs until May 7 at Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.

Beijing-based artist Chen Wei’s practice actively blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction through the construction of carefully staged scenes and handcrafted objects. The Club – his first solo exhibition in a public institution in Australia – comprises a series of photographs and installations that fabricate a visual archive of Chinese club culture. Chen has meticulously recreated the architecture, interiors and culture of nightclubs to celebrate this previously undocumented subculture and to provide a commentary on wider social changes that have been taking place in China.

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The New Normal:Art and China in 2017
March 19–July 9, 2017 
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) 
798 Art District
No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 BeijingChina 

What is the place of art in China today? Or rather, in a world where the underpinnings of the post-World War II consensus have come suddenly loose, a world whose most prosperous corners find themselves in thrall to sectarian populism, a world increasingly unable to deny the changes wrought to its ecosystem by the last hundred years of human emissions, and a world in which, despite it all, China continues to grow in output and influence, what is to be done?

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Gabriel Lester, Dwelling Kappiri Spirits, 2016

Kochi-Muziris Biennale:
Forming in the Pupil of an Eye
December 12th, 2016 through March 29th, 2017 


Gabriel Lester is featured among 97 artists who have been invited to create new works in this year’s Kochi-Muziris Biennale, the largest contemporary art biennial in South Asia. Curated by the eminent Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Biennale is titled Forming in the Pupil of an Eye. The Biennale will run from December 12, 2016 until March 29, 2017.
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He An:
Do You Think That You Can Help Her Brother?
February 11th, 2017 through April 23rd, 2017 
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)
111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia


He An’s neon light installation, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother?, will be presented on the northern façade of ACCA’s iconic architecture as a keynote public project for Asia TOPA, comprised of Chinese characters gleaned from shopfronts and various sites throughout the city of Beijing, telling a dark story about love, desire and power in.

Drawn from popular news stories and online social media, Do You Think You Can Help Her Brother? combines found texts to create a narrative poem that relays the experience of marginalized labour workers, popular Chinese novels, the sex industry and criminal underground networks in Chinese society.
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Nina Canell: Reflexology

November 9th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017
Opening reception: Wednesday, November 9th, 5-8pm

Nina Canell: “Reflexology” is the first solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist Nina Canell (b.1979, Sweden) to take place in China. Set across all three floors of the gallery space, Canell’s characteristically concise sculptural works of found and functional objects explore the often-overlapping networks and natural phenomena that surround us, probing the connections between material objects and immaterial forces. For this exhibition, Canell presents a series of new and recent works, incorporating site-specific elements and objects that have been sourced locally in Shanghai.

Taking the practice of reflexology as her starting point, Canell uses the exhibition format to investigate how the varying meanings of the term might be interpreted through the relationship between the work and its viewer.
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Gabriel Lester: The Nine Day Week
November 25th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017
Opening November 25th, 6pm

Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
Vokiečių 2
LT-01130 Vilnius

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Take Me (I’m Yours)

September 16th, 2016 through February 5th, 2017

Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

Aaajiao presents a new installation in “Take Me (I’m Yours)” at the Jewish Museum. “Take Me (I’m Yours)” was originally conceived by Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1995. The New York show is curated by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, the Jewish Museum; Hans Ulrich Obrist; and Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator, the Jewish Museum.
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Times Heterotopia Trilogy III:
The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away
Guangdong Times Museum
January 8th through February 19th, 2017
Opening: January 7th, 2017


Liu Chuang is featured in the group exhibition “The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away” at Guangdong Times Museum. The exhibition is curated by Nikita Yingqian Cai and will run from January 8th through February 19th, 2017.

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Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman

October 19th 2016 through January 15th 2017
New Museum, New York

Curated by Helga Christoffersen and Massimiliano Gioni.



September 4th, 2016 through January 15th, 2017

Yuz Museum
No.35 Fenggu Road, Shanghai

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Vitamin P3 – New Perspectives in Painting

Publisher: Phaidon Press, 2016
Hardcover: 352 pages
550 color illustrations
11.38 x 9.88 in
28.9 x 25.1 cm

Since the publication of the first Vitamin P in 2002, painting has continued to evolve and excite, with new generations responding to its historic importance and taking it in unexpected directions. A central pillar of artistic practice, painting also has enduring appeal, dominating the art market. Vitamin P3 takes the conversation forward, spotlighting more than 100 outstanding artists who are engaging with – and pushing the boundaries of – the medium of paint.

For the full article on Cui Jie, please [download pdf]


Art Basel Miami Beach
Stand N13
Miami Beach Convention Center
December 1st through 4th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, November 30th

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to announce its participation for the first time at Art Basel | Miami Beach. Located at stand N13, the gallery brings a group presentation of three artists; aaajiao, Cui Jie and Liu Shiyuan, each articulating a different vision of their experiences living, working and exhibiting in the city of Shanghai.
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fair | ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair 2016

ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair
Stand W28
Shanghai Exhibition Center, 1376 West Nanjing Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai 

November 10th through 13th, 2016
Preview Thursday, November 9th

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fair | WEST BUND ART & DESIGN 2016

West Bund Art & Design
Stand C2
West Bund Art Center, 2555 Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai

November 9th through 13th, 2016
Preview Tuesday, November 8th

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Cui Jie, Building of Cranes #1, 2014. Oil on canvas. 150 x 110 cm.


November 9th, 2016 through December 8th, 2016
Opening: November 8th, 2016 | 5pm

chi K11 art museum, Shanghai
Level B3, K11 Art Mall, 300 Middle Huaihai Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai

Aaajiao and Cui Jie are included in the new edition of the group exhibition “Hack Space” in chi K11 art museum in Shanghai, co-curated by Amira Gad and Hans Ulrich Obrist. The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and the Serpentine Galleries are pleased to continue their collaboration, which begun with the presentation of the group exhibition HACK SPACE during Art Basel Hong Kong 2016, by presenting a new edition of the HACK SPACE exhibition at the chi K11 art museum in Shanghai. The exhibition runs from 9 November to 8 December 2016.

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fair | ASIA NOW 2016

PIXY LIAO, "A Collection of Penises", 2013-present

Asia Now
Stand A207
9 Avenue Hoche, Paris

October 19th through 23th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 19th

LEO XU PROJECTS is pleased to present “Girls: Portraits, Fantasies and Troubles”, a group exhibition curated for gallery’s second-year participation in Asia Now. The booth includes a selection of photographs, installations, sculptures and videos created by Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Pixy Liao, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, and others, which carefully study individual and collective emotions, experiences and expressions of young female Chinese in their everyday and professional life.

New to the gallery stable, Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Liao attempts to smash the stereotypes of hierarchies in relationship and gender roles by presenting a body of bold and experimental works — “A Collection of Penises” (2013-present) shows a collection of nineteen pink soft fabric models of male genitals in various possible shapes created by the artist’s partner; “Start your day with a good breakfast” (2009) is a selfie of the artist and her partner interacting in explicit and provocative manners. Having studied and lived in Beijing and New York, Copenhagen-based Liu Shiyuan presents a playful sculpture “But My Apple…” (2015) that captures a subtle second-thought on female’s sensibility.
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September 24th through October 25th, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, September 24th, 6-8pm.

“Pixy Liao: Venus As A Boy” marks the first solo exhibition of Shanghai-born Brooklyn-based young female artist Pixy Yijun Liao with the gallery, running from September 24th through October 25th, 2016. Having studied photography at University of Memphis and lived in the States for over a decade, Liao is highly influenced by the style of New American Color Photography in her practices, yet spinning off from the critique of “the American dream” to focus on the contemporary lives of Asian immigrants in the western society, presenting portraits and relationship hierarchies of the youth and the minorities with a rare observational wit.

The title of the exhibition is taken from one of the greatest hits of Icelandic musician, singer, and actress Björk Gumundsdottir, in which she questions masculine and feminine gender identities as socially constructed and breaks down the popular conceptions of gender binaries. Sharing a similar objection against the conventional assumptions of gender roles, Pixy Liao uses language of contemporary American photography of deadpan portraits, seemingly unmemorable objects, and staged scenes in her photographic practices to challenge the preconceived notions about characteristics and behaviors of different genders in heterosexual relationships in the Asian American society, throwing tradition out the window in an often humorous effect.
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fair | FRIEZE LONDON 2016

Frieze London
Stand H20
Regent’s Park, London

October 6th through 9th, 2016
Preview Wednesday, October 6th

Titled after Arthur Rimbaud’s eponymous poem, “Le Bateau Ivre (Drunken Boat)” is young Chinese artist Chen Wei’s solo project that features his photographs of various formats and installations across multiple media. A time capsule on China’s disco and relevant youth cultures since the early 1990s onwards, the project outlines the growth of Chen’s generation through artist’s fabricated visual and literal materials which are informed by then British publications like i-D and the Face (once circulated underground in Beijing and Shanghai). Chen explores the mystery of Chinese disco, an apparition in most celebrated films by Jia Zhangke and Lou Ye, but barely made to the discourse of Chinese visual art. An unlicensed institution of Chinese youth cultures and generational concerns, Chen commented.
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Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan

Yinchuan Biennale
For an Image, Faster Than Light

September 9th through December 18th, 2016

Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan
No.12, HeLe Road, Xingqing District, 750101 Yinchuan, China

The first edition of the Yinchuan Biennale which will open on September 9, 2016 with the participation of 74 artists from 33 countries including China and will culminate on December 18, 2016. The YC Biennale 2016 is contextualizing some of the most important issues confronting the world from the scientific to the spiritual, from the psychic to the philosophical, from the catastrophic to the celebratory.
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