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.

While each of the artist’s work draws initial inspiration from the past and present of China’s key financial and cultural metropolis, Shanghai, they expand this insight into urban existence by exploring the wider realities of life as young Chinese artists, negotiating international travel, the cyber sphere and new urban models in a rapidly changing world.

Inspired by the apocalyptic and futuristic backdrop of J G Ballard’s novels, Ballard himself a Shanghai resident for much of his youth, this group exhibition considers the context of city living through historical and contemporary narratives. Ballard’s experiences were undoubtedly formative for his writing, growing up in and out of international settlements in Shanghai, between Western and Chinese cultures, while witnessing the atrocities of the Second Sino-Japanese War. So, too, is this flux and exchange of cultures, technologies and models for urban life a central theme of this selection of works for LEO XU PROJECTS Miami Beach stand.

Cui Jie, for instance, in two new 2016 works, Shanghai Education TV Station and S House #5 delivers an image of composite cityscapes, probing China’s shifting urban topologies in precise architectural detail, registered here in her large scale oil paintings. Residential or official buildings occupy the foreground, while details of life of the city at large are hinted at only through structural motifs. Human existence is obscured as the power of the city dominates the imagery, presenting a somewhat dystopian view of these architectural monuments, where the continuity of mechanical progress is placed above the needs of the city’s inhabitants.

Taking a different perspective, aaajiao explores a vision of the recent past and present through his sculptural installations that instead focus on the Internet and new media technologies. With the advent of a wealth of communications technologies in the past few decades, one’s life experiences are constantly informed and interrupted by new methods of conversation, new social relations and new platforms for pursuing knowledge. In his works Email Trek (2016) and Gfwlist (2010-2013), aaajiao looks at obsolete technologies and the constant renewal of email formats and website design. Gfwlist also examines the way the state exercises control over the net in China, and how citizens or ‘netizens’ experiences of the World Wide Web are limited by China’s ‘Great Firewall.’ In this piece, a list of the websites blocked by the government is printed out one by one, forming an abstract mass of data in the forms of URL’s spewed out like a never-ending receipt, showing the scale of intervention into the online lives of Chinese people.

Finally Liu Shiyuan relays her experiences of urban living based upon her time spent in China, the US and Denmark. In her series Untitled (2014), a fictional diary written from various European and Chinese cities is interspersed with images of digitally manipulated floral patterns. Musing on beauty, creativity and travel across cities throughout various points of the twentieth century, the piece brings together the sentiments of the artist and her nomadic experiences. This is continued in her video installation Love Poem, which continues to look into language barriers, translation and unfamiliar linguistic structures in combination with vibrant patterned color combinations a means of explaining her life moving between countries and cultures. Similarly in a brand new suite of works titled The Smallest Lobster (2016), Liu Shiyuan explores a new medium, using wool, paper and thread, to stitch together the unusual icons of life on the move. A croissant hovers above a beach scene, a loaf of bread is superimposed above a church, while new faces and sculptural bodies become exemplary of the strange assortment of sights and memories one experiences and consumes through travel, once removed from the stability of a single city.



Active online as a media artist, blogger, activist and programmer, aaajiao is the virtual persona of Shanghai-based artist Xu Wenkai. Born in 1984 in one of China’s oldest cities, Xi’an, aaajiao’s art and works are marked by a strong dystopian awareness. Many of aaajiao’s works speak to new thinkings, controversies and phenomenon around the Internet, with specific projects focusing on the processing of data, the blogosphere and China’s Great Fire Wall.

aaajiao’s work has featured in numerous international exhibitions, recently including:
Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas (2016);
Take Me (I’m Yours) (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jens Ho mann and Kelly Taxter), Jewish Museum, New York (2016); Overpop, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2016);
Hack Space (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad), K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong (2016)

Solo exhibitions include Remnants of an Electronic Past at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (2016) and OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal Xi’an, Xi’an (2016), amongst others.

Cui Jie
Born in 1984 in Shanghai, Cui Jie’s landscapes and interiors make comparative studies of cities as distinctive models or laboratories of China’s open-and-reform policies. This is depicted as a personal history informed by the aesthetic madness in one time and place, ranging from the architectural confusion of Bauhaus, to Chinese propaganda, and to Soviet communist aesthetics. In essence, Cui Jie’s painting is a time capsule that re-imagines the past and the present.

Cui’s works have been included in many exhibitions, such as:
Hack Space (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad) K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong, 2016;
A Beautiful Disorder, CASS Sculpture Foundation, Chichester, UK, 2016
The World in 2015, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2015;
My Generation: Young Chinese Artist, Tampa Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, USA, 2014

Cui Jie was recently included in Phaidon’s comprehensive anthology of contemporary painters, Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting, published in 2016.

Liu Shiyuan
Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark after having studied in New York and Beijing. Travelling and living between cities and across multiple cultures, Liu has developed an artistic sensibility in response to the contemporary Chinese diaspora, and its ensuing pattern of cultural shock. Manipulating everyday objects, stock images, and theatrical gestures, her practice navigates the subtle borderline between rationality and mystery, reality and fiction.

Liu’s work has featured in many exhibitions; recent group shows include:
The King and the Mockingbird, Vermillion Sands, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016;
For an Image, Faster Than Light: Yinchuan Biennale 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, Ningxia, China, 2016;
SHE — International Women Artists Exhibition, Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2016;
Tutorials, Pino Pascali Foundation Museum, Polignano, 2016;
Bentu, Chinese Artists In A Time Of Turbulence And Transformation, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2016;
As Simple As Clay (solo), Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015;
Unordinary Space, Aurora Museum, Shanghai, 2015


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.
Details »


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.

Details »

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.

Details »


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.

Details »


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.

Details »


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.

Details »

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.
Details »


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.

Details »



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.

Details »


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.

Details »


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.

Details »


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.

Participating artists include: aaajiao, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Ryan Gander, Yngve Holen, Institute for New Feeling, Austin Lee, Liu Wa, Sean Raspet, Pamela Rosenkranz, Amalia Ulman, Gillian Wearing, and Yangzi.

For more information, please see: http://www.mwoods.org/en/exhibition/current


aaajiao, “Email Trek”, 2016


Active online as a media artist, blogger, activist and programmer, aaajiao is the virtual persona of Shanghai-based artist Xu Wenkai. Born in 1984 in one of China’s oldest cities, Xi’an, aaajiao’s art and works are marked by a strong dystopian awareness—his year of birth being the synonym of George Orwell’s classic allegorical novel—, literati spirits and sophistication. Many of aaajiao’s works speak to new thinkings, controversies and phenomenon around the Internet, with specific projects focusing on the processing of data, the blogsphere and China’s Great Fire Wall. aaajiao’s recent projects extend his practice to various disciplines (among them architecture, electronic music, performance, product design, and medicine) to capture the pulse of the young generation consuming cyber technology and living in social media.

Aaajiao’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the world, upcoming and recent shows include “Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today”, The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston (2018); “unREAL”, Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel (2017); “Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia”, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas (2016); “Take Me (I’m Yours)” (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jens Ho mann and Kelly Taxter), Jewish Museum, New York (2016); “Overpop”, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2016); “Hack Space” (curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Amira Gad), K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong and chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2016); “Globale: Global Control and Censorship”, ZKM | Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2015); “Thingworld International Triennial of New Media Art”, The National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2014); and Transmediale, Berlin (2010). His solo exhibition includes: “Remnants of an Electronic Past”, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (2016); OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal Xi’an, Xi’an (2016), among others. He was awarded the Art Sanya Awards in 2014 Jury Prize and was nominated for the first edition of OCAT-Pierre Huber Art Prize in 2014.


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.

Details »


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”.

Details »


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 »


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.

Details »


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?

Details »