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.



Taus Makhacheva:
Second World, Third Attempt

November 10th through December 23rd, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, November 10th, 6-8pm



September 30th through October 31st, 2017
Closed on National holidays, October 1st through 8th.

Participants: Bu Bing, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Michael Lin, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Liu Yichun, Wang Yan, Zhang Ke and more.


CINDY SHERMAN, "Untitled", 1987

Organized by Leo Xu
June 29th through August 4th, 2017
Metro Pictures, New York, USA 
As a part of CONDO Complex New York, a gallery swap between New York galleries and national and international partners, Metro Pictures hosts Leo Xu’s two-part exhibition A New Ballardian Vision. The show brings together a selection of works that reflect recent social, technological and environmental developments through the lens of author J.G. Ballard’s (1930–2009) writings. Xu conceived the exhibition as two distinct chapters; the first features Metro Pictures artists Nina Beier, Camille Henrot, Martin Kippenberger, Oliver Laric, Robert Longo, Trevor Paglen, Jim Shaw and Cindy Sherman. The second chapter focuses on a younger generation of Chinese artists represented by Leo Xu Projects, including aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Li Qing, Liu Shiyuan and Pixy Liao.
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aaajiao, Candy wrappers (twitter), 2017


May 27th through July 22nd, 2017
Opening reception: Friday, May 26th, 6-8pm

“User, Love, High-frequency Trading” marks the second solo exhibition with the gallery by Shanghai and Berlin-based young new media artist aaajiao. Aaajiao, the artistic persona of Xu Wenkai, was first created as his internet handle. As a user of many websites, social media and applications, aaajiao has been exploring the notions about such role and new identities and personalities a user may assume through his or her operation of one specific medium. This two-year long research has crystalized into the exhibition “User, Love, High-frequency Trading”. It goes through multiple aspects—for instance, user’s alter ego, social media communication, and new economies driven by algorithms and networking of users—and arrives at a particular moment in current social and technological development, which has both resonated and contrasted with many of Sci-fi cinema and literature’s Ballardian or cyberpunk fantasies of an early 21st century.

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fair | LISTE – ART FAIR BASEL 2017

Booth: 1-7-G3
June 12th through 18th, 2017

The gallery’s debut in LISTE – Art Fair Basel 2017 will feature a solo presentation by Copenhagen-based young Chinese female artist Liu Shiyuan.

Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan lives and works in Copenhagen after having studied in New York and Beijing. Traveling and living between cities and across multiple cultures, Liu has developed an artistic sensibility to the new forms of language and expressions on cybersphere and its ensuing patterns of everyday communication across the globe. The works on view at the booth also underlines the nuances and influences of the new internet rhetoric between different regions and media.

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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, "Disco #1004", 2015

CHEN WEI: The Club
Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Horsham, Australia
24 June 2017 - 13 August 2017

Chen Wei’s solo exhibition “The Club” is to open on June 24, 2017 and runs until August 13, 2017 at Horsham Regional Art Gallery.

Being one of China’s leading artists exhibiting in London, New York, Melbourne and numerous cities across Europe, Chen Wei is presenting photographs and installations that fabricate a visual archive of Chinese club culture in Horsham, Australia. Curated by Elias Redstone, The Club explores an undocumented subculture, reflecting on wider social changes that have taken place in modern China.

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Group Exhibition: .com/.cn
K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong 
21 March through 30 April 2017

Liu Shiyuan is selected to be included in the group exhibition .com/.cn, co-presented by the K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1. Co-curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey of MoMA PS1 in New York, this project is part of an ongoing research partnership of two institutions.

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fair | FRIEZE NEW YORK 2017

Li Qing, "Window · The Sea in the Museum", 2016-2017

Frieze New York
Booth B23
Randall’s Island, Manhattan
May 5th through 7th, 2017
Preview: Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Located at booth B23, the gallery will be exhibiting a solo presentation of Shanghai-based artist Li Qing, who was recently shortlisted for the sixth edition of Prix Jean-Francois Prat (2017), a prestigious international contemporary art prize mainly focuses on painting.
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Group Exhibition: Body·Media II
Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
April 29 through July 30, 2017


Artist aaajiao is selected along with other 23 artists/art groups from 12 countries to be included in the group exhibition “Body·Media II” at Power Station of Art, Shanghai,  co-curated by Gong Yan (China) and Richard Castelli (France). The exhibition continues the theme of 2007’s exhibition Body Media, re-discusses the close ties between new media and body within the new era context totally revolutionized by advancing technologies. It contains installation, performance, photography, video, and other hard-to-be-defined art forms, introduces cross-disciplinary cooperative patterns and exceeds boundaries of interactive art exhibitions.

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NSFW: Female Gaze
June 21, 2017
Museum of Sex, New York, USA

Pixy Liao is participating in the group exhibition “NSFW: Female Gaze” at Museum of Sex on June 21.

NSFW: Female Gaze, co-curated by VICE Media’s Creators, showcases over 25 emerging female artists from various disciplines dedicated to powerful feminine narratives. From Instagram and GIF platforms to textile and photography, these artists bring a fresh, eclectic, and unconventional approach to sexuality.

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Chinese Summer 
02 June 2017 – 10 September 2017
Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway

Liu Chuang is selected to be included in the group exhibition “Chinese Summer” in Astrup Fearnley Museet, curated by Gunnar B. Kvaran and Therese Möllenhoff.  The name Chinese Summeris a metaphor for the nation and art scene that have seen explosive growth over the last two decades.

Acknowledging the importance of cultural and artistic production in China that has taken its position on the global stage, Astrup Fearnley Museet is presenting 2 generations of artists in the large group exhibition of Chinese contemporary art.

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Group exhibition: All happens after sunset…
MOCA Pavilion, Shanghai, China
April 22nd through May 25th, 2017

Artists aaajiao, Cheng Ran and Li Qing participate the group exhibition “All happens after sunset” at MOCA Pavilion, Shanghai, curated by Xⁿ Office, a contemporary art curating group launched by researcher of art history Penny Xu and artist Ni Youyu. The exhibition is also part of the first phase of MOCA’s 2017 “+Follow+” young artist group exhibition project, to follow young Chinese artists in their development, observing them as they mold through their early stages and blossom into maturity.

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Art Basel Hong Kong
Stand C20
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center
March 23rd through 25th, 2017
Preview Wednesday, March 22nd


aaajiao, “Email Trek”, 2016  
Group Exhibition: Heart of the Tin Man
June 20th through October 8th
M Woods Art Museum, D-06, 798 Art Zone
Beijing, China

Artist aaajiao is selected along with other 11 artists to be included in the group exhibition “Heart of the Tin Man” in M Woods Museum, Beijing, dedicated to the digital age. Heart of the Tin Man brings together works consciously revealing, investigating or subverting current Internet or technological practices. Drawn predominantly from the M WOODS Collection and the post-internet focus of co-founder Michael Xufu Huang, the exhibition includes virtual reality, digital mechanics, and interactive works to stimulate our senses of sight, smell, touch, and sound, and to register emotion within a contemporary world increasingly governed by algorithms, measurements, and marketing.

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aaajiao,"Limited Landscape, Unlimited Floating", 2017

Group Exhibition: unREAL. The Algorithmic Present
Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel, Switzerland
08 June through 20 August 2017 
Aaajiao is selected to be included in the group exhibition unREAL. The Algorithmic Present in House of Electronic Arts Basel. 
unREAL examines the complexity of our digital age, it is an exhibition that attempts to confront the digital present through the very means of technological intervention both as critical examination as well as alternative prospects. The twenty-four works in the exhibition by international artists underscore the often-hidden materiality of bits and bytes, bringing to the fore the algorithmic processes that constitute our digital present.



Leo Xu Projects and Art Project CZ co-presents
Group Exhibition: City of Stars
April 19th through June 19th, 2017
No. 1690 Huaihai Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai


The collaborative group exhibition “City of Stars” between Leo Xu Projects and Art Project CZ runs from April 19th to June 19th, 2017. The exhibition aims to capture the nightlife and living experience in the former French concession area in Shanghai, and to project a broader encapsulation of the Chinese youth’s status quo. Artists on view include aaajiao, Chen Wei, Cheng Ran, Guo Hongwei, Li Qing and Liu Shiyuan.



Shanghai Project Chapter 2
Envision 2116
Exhibition: “Seeds of Time”
April 22 – July 30, 2017

Venues: Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Envision Pavilion, Zendai Zhujiajiao Art Museum


Artists aaajiao and Liu Chuang are invited by Shanghai Project to participate in the exhibition’s second chapter as researchers. Curated by Yongwoo Lee and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Shanghai Project Chapter 2 exhibition ”Seeds of Time” will be inaugurated on April 22, 2017. Taking its title from the documentary of the same name, which shares the project’s call for action regarding the climate situation, the exhibition seeks to explore sustainability so as to better understand possible solutions for urgent environmental and social problems.

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PIXY LIAO, "Family sushi", 2011

Lady and Gentleman
24 March – 22 April 2017
Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden

Pixy Liao’s solo show “Lady and Gentleman” is running at Galleri Vasli Souza, Malmö, Sweden from 24th of March through 22nd of April 2017.

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.

Lady and Gentleman showcases the alternative possibilities of heterosexual relationships and inscribe how a man and a woman can exchange their roles and question the whole concept of “normal relationships”.

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CUI JIE, S House #5, 2016

Past Skin
April 6 – September 10, 2017
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens
Long Island City, NY 11101

Cui Jie will participate in the group exhibition “Past Skin” at MoMA PS1, New York, running from April 6 to September 10, 2017. In today’s technological environment, we can style, extend, and broadcast ourselves at will, projecting into digital realms that in turn shape us. The six artists in ”Past Skin” take up science historian and cyber-feminist Donna Haraway’s provocation, “Why should our body end at the skin?,” testing the growing porosity between our bodies and habitats in a contemporary world where virtuality is ubiquitous and surreality is increasingly normalized. As much as we exert influence on our bodies and surroundings, the technologies that enable this influence also influence us. Details »