Li Qing




Li Qing (b. 1981) was born in Huzhou, Zhejiang, and now lives in Hangzhou. Li Qing’s art practices embrace various media having began with oil painting, to now including video, photography and installation. The subject his works deal with also developed in depth. Standing in front of his works, audiences are led into a visual game, conversing with and reflecting on the artworks. The imagery created by Li Qing is no more just a means of representing reality. As a pioneer of “Intellectual Painting”, he presents his audience a familiar context, allowing concepts tell the story on their own.

Li Qing’s early series usually take form in diptych, such as his ‘Finding Differences’ series (2005-) and ‘Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity’ set (2007-) He borrows the form of the familiar video game “Find the differences”, adding pop culture motifs, such as politicians, celebrities, daily objects, everyday scenes and news. In his works, one of the two motifs will be altered at several spots to lead audiences into a visual game, starting up a conversation between the two works. His work also sees him pressing two wet paintings together face-to-face before separating them, playing between the truth and nothingness. In fact, the two juxtaposed paintings don’t show differences merely in form; they are a playful statement by the artist to deliver the differing concepts behind them. Every single brushwork or “Undoing” bears a unique gesture of the artist. The line between the absolute identical and the different thus is blurred, and the literal meaning of images is also absorbed into the surface of the canvas. By comparing the two paintings, audience come close to artist’s real intentions—connotations of complex humanity, changing social landscape, and shared experiences or collective emotions of a certain period. The entry point to understanding Li Qing’s paintings therefore switch from the surface of imagery as a representation of reality to the comparison between the two. And the image is merely a path to the more profound level of understanding.

Drifting, nothingness and disillusionment permeate most of Li Qing’s works. In his later photography, video and installation works, artist deals with several eternal themes or philosophical concepts, such as the presenting of things as a subject, humanity in social development and the feeling of anxiety extensively existing in the time the artist lives in. During the 80s, China went through huge social reform and opening-up as well as dramatic economic growth, bringing in an overwhelming expansion of consumerism. Everyday objects became distant to people. They are used and then abandoned very shortly. For the artist, objects are the embodiment of the living experience. They show a state of nothingness and detachment in people’s living conditions. The Fridge as a motif appears in many of artist’s works, including ‘White Group Portrait’ (2010) and ‘Black Group Portrait’ (2010). The Fridge in Li Qing’s works is like Van Gogh’s Shoes, standing solemnly like a group of tall buildings, with a sense of human dignity, not being consumed as daily objects anymore. In the video work ‘Drifting Floss’ (2010), floss covers every corner, becoming the subject matter in this clueless story. Textile workers wander around in trance, delivering to the audience a collective feeling of powerlessness and disillusionment.

For the solo show ‘Li Qing: In the Vicinity’ (2014, Leo Xu Projects), the artist created a group of site-specific works associated with the gallery’s location. An installation series ‘Neighbor’s Window’ (2013) borrows the trompe l’oeil technique, combining old wooden window frames with the paintings of colonial architecture behind glass. The visual illusion connects individual life with today’s modern metropolis of Shanghai, which comes along with the feeling of anxiety in the westernized culture and memory of the past revolutionary time. Other works in this show also show the development of Shanghai at a similar angle: the coexistence and mingling of different notions and ideologies, opening up dialogues between the past and the present.

Li Qing graduated from the Oil Painting Department of China Academy of Art in 2007. He has had solo shows at Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China; Tomás y Valiente Art Centre, Madrid, Spain; Duolun Museum Of Modern Art, Shanghai, China and Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, among others. A number of prestigious art institutes have also included his works for group shows, such as the 55th Biennale Di Venezia Special Invitation Exhibition, Arsenale di Venezia, Italy; National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan; ART COLOGNE 2013, Cologne, Germany; São Paulo Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo, Brasil, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA and Square Gallery of Contemporary Art etc. His works are collected by many art institutes and foundations, such as M+ Art Museum, Hong Kong, China; Deutsche Bank, Germany; Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; Art & Culture Foundation (IAC) of Spain, Madrid, Spain; Logan Foundation, San Francisco, USA; Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China; Long Museum, Shanghai, China; Yuz Foundation; Budi Tek Collection, Shanghai, China; Square Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China; and China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China.

Download the complete artist biography.

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LI QING, "Finding Differences-Big Shot (There are 5 differences in the two paintings)", 2006, Oli on canvas, 200 x 200 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Wedding (There are 6 differences in the two paintings)", 2006, Oli on canvas, 190 x 275 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Sand Table (There are 10 differences in the two paintings)", 2008, Oli on canvas, 170 x 255 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-03 (There are10 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oil on canvas, 97 x 75 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-09 (There are 8 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Mirror (There are 9 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-12 (There are 8 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oil on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Come to Eat Cake (There are 11 differences in the two paintings)", 2007, Oli on canvas, 150 x 250 cm x 2

LI QING, "Finding Differences-Pavilion (There are 9 differences in the two paintings)", 2005, Oli on canvas, 170 x 130 cm x 2

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 150 x 285 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Mating No.4", 2008, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 150 x 285 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 170 x 127 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Leslie Cheung", 2007, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 170 x 127 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, A set of two inkjet prints (left) and two oil paintings (right), Painting canvas: 100 x 78 cm each, Print dimension variable

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, (A set of two inkjet prints, Print dimension variable), Detail

LI QING, "Images of Mutual Undoing and Unity-Duchamp", 2011, Oil on canvas, Painting canvas: 100 x 78 cm each, Detail

LI QING, "A Brand New Kitchen", 2012, Oil on canvas, 227 x 300 cm

LI QING, "A Buddha Factory at the Riverside", 2012, Oil on canvas, 240 x 408 cm

LI QING, "Trees in a Warehouse", 2012, Oil on canvas, 230 x 330 cm

LI QING, "Lighthouse", 2011, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 89 x 107 x 19 cm

LI QING, "The Broken Window", 2011, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 89 x 107 x 14 cm

LI QING, "Neighbour’s Window-Mosco Style", 2013, Wood, Oil on glass, metal, 148 x 103 x 7.5 cm

LI QING, "Manuscript on Window", 2013, Wood, oil on glass, metal, 66 x 114 x 10.5 cm

LI QING, "Neighbour’s Window-St.Peterburg Style", 2013, Wood, oil on glass, metal, 148x 104 x 7 cm

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Wood, Oil on plexiglass, metal, 600 x 560 x 500 cm

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Detail

LI QING, "Rural Church", 2014-2015, Detail


For more works and projects by the artist, download the portfolio in pdf.

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“All Happens After Sunset”, MoCA Pavilion, Shanghai, China, 2017
“Please fasten your seat belt as we are experiencing some turbulence”, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai,2017
“Performing Time”, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, China, 2016
“The Mud of Compound Experience”, Mother’s Tankstation & Leo Xu Projects, Hong Kong, China, 2016
“Dissensus Agitation — The Painting to Language”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China,2016
“Over the Wall — Paintings Tempted by installation”, Tang Contemporary Art Beijing, Beijing, China,2016
“Unrealities in the reality — The Intellectual Dimension of Daily Life”, Boxes Art Space of OCT Harbor, Shenzhen, China,2016
“A Suite of Eights Room” (solo), Arario Museum, Seoul, Korea, 2015
“Li Qing: Big Cathedral” (solo), Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, 2015
“Painting 20 x 20″, Poly Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2015
“Copyleft: Appropriation Art in China”, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 2015
“Garden”, Splendors, Jinji Lake Art Museum, Suzhou, China, 2015
“Breaking the Image”, Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2015
“The System of Objects”, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2015
“Blow Up: Li Qing Independent Projects” (solo), 9 M2 Museum in Goethe Institute, Shanghai, China, 2014

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NATIONAL ARTS, Artist, text/Huang Shengqing, P27, January 2017[download pdf]
Vanity Fair On Art, “Li Qing”, by Fabien Fryns, November, 2016 [download pdf]
Flash Art, “Li Qing”, by Michele D’Aurizio, March & April, 2016 [download pdf]
Hi Art, “Things are not what they may seem”, by Hu Tingting, June, 2015 [download pdf]
The Art Newspaper, “More Than Brand Names and Biennial Favourites”, by Melanie Gerlis & Gareth Harris, March, 2015 [download pdf]
Iart, “Li Qing: Tranquility After Absurdity”, by Wang Yinbo, May, 2014 [download pdf]
ArtChina, “Li Qing at Leo Xu Projects”, by Wang Jing, January, 2014 [download pdf]
Art Face, “Art is Channel”, by Wen Jia, January, 2014 [download pdf]
Blouin Artinfo, “Slideshow: Li Qing’s “In the Vicinity”", by Sam Gaskin, December, 2013 [download pdf]
Global Times, “In the Vicinity”, by Hu Bei, December, 2013 [download pdf]
Vision, “Falling in LiQing’s Painting”, by Zhou Yi, Issue 131, August, 2013 [download pdf]
Numéro, “Klimt – A Revolutionist”, by Li Qing, December, 2012 [download pdf]
Arts Magazine, “Li Qing: Intellectual Painting (cover story) “, by Chen Mengzhe, Issue 2, June, 2012 [download pdf]

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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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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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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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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.

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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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