Xiaofu Wang

In my painting I try to create a place where one layer allows another to escape its origin. This idea came to me while I was listening to a piano album, but I immediately realized its application to the visual arts.  I am attracted to art that makes you doubt, to which your response, your feeling, is never certain.  In which feeling need not follow the obligations of representation or of subject, but rather improvises: adapting and extending personal history (the range of experience, value) as compelled by one’s proximity to art. For as it is with the way of the world, you are never certain of life’s meaning, but you have the freedom to form opinions from self-knowledge.

So I invite uncertainties, lacunae, discordances—contradictions, even—into my paintings.  They form an open system.  Their exuberant abstractions restore an invisible and immaterial perception of the world to appearance, unfolding the inevitable ambiguities of the contour of existence.  These ambiguities sometimes adhere, and sometimes fracture. This exciting uncertainty is the heart of my painting, emerging dynamically in its layers, their structure of interplay and exclusion. These spatial relations are encountered as kinesthetic haunting, as a mixture of restraint, of excessive airy openness and almost claustrophobic compression—landscapes of suggestion.

These dilemmas were born when I started to measure the distance between the world and myself.  Because there is a question: what world? And what distance? World is a technology of divergence, it is material and spirit, it is the diversity of apprehension.  It is good and bad: a toxic joy.  It overwhelms, dominates—unless we retreat outside, to view its beautiful traps.

Distance is inescapably contingent.  And as a nomadic Chinese, shifting from country to country, observing the transition of behaviors, of opinions, feedback of all sorts, I feel myself suspended.  Suspended between cultures and forced to suspend judgement.  Forced to become the outsider—indeed in China too, as always with my unpretty darker skin, and ever more the more I Westernize—I must wait to conclude, watching instead, hanging in political suspense.  But this waiting is Chinese too, for we have written the world’s longest history (which remains unended) in the emotional poetry of our beautiful language.  This is a legacy from which I can never be truly free.

Then sometimes I make paintings and think it doesn’t matter where I come from, think what matters is where I’m going. This is freedom, the contingent freedom of being human.  I am a female Chinese artist painting in America.  So I am human.  I am part of the human.  And I do not know the destiny of the human.  Still—what I paint is human being.


b. 1991, Wuhan, China
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, US

2017 Master of Fine Art, Le. Roy. Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art

2013 Bachelor of Fine Art, Photography and Media, China Central Academy of Fine Art ( CAFA)


Solo Exhibition
2016 SHA SHA, Lazarus FLIV Hallway Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US.

Selected Group Exhibition

2018 Four Degrees of Abstraction, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, New York, NY Curated by Anne-Brigitte Sirois
Emergency Eyewash in the house, 71 Ludlow Street, New York, NY, US Curated by Barry Schwabsky & Carol Szymanski
Out of Order, Maryland Art Place (MAP), Baltimore, MD, US
Infinite Cantaloupe, Elsewhere studios residency, Paonia, CO, US
Modern Expressions of Traditions China-America Young Artists Exhibiton, New York, NY, US organized by The Central Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai New Gallery of Art, New York School of Interior Design
pop up exhibition Through a glass darkly, 440 Irving Ave, Brooklyn, NY, US.
The Greatest Show On Earth, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, US
Curated by Richard Timperio

2017 In My Room, Linden Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US Curated by Selina Doroshenko
Janet & Walter Sondheim Semi nalist Exhibition, Artspace, Baltimore, MD, US
LED Baltimore Art Billboard, Baltimore, MD, US
Meet the next generation of creative thinkers, Spacecamp, Baltimore, MD, US

2016 Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting Fall Show, Fox 3 Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US Lazarus Center Selected Show, Riggs and Leidy Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US
1st year Juried Show, Riggs and Leidy Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US
Pop up exhibition CTFO, Pinkard Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US

2015 Neither/ Or, Leroy E. Hoffberger School of Painting Fall Show, Riggs and Leidy Gallery, Baltimore, MD, US

2013 Undergraduate Senior Thesis Show, China Central Academy of Fine Arts,Beijing, China

Residencies & Awards & Grants

2018  Rema Hort Mann Foundation 2018 New York Nominees
Art Farm Nebraska Artist Residency, September – October, Marquette, NE Elsewhere Studios Resideny, March – April, Paonia, CO

2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Semi nalist

2015 -2017 LeRoy Hoffberger Merit Scholarship, Maryland Institute College of Art


2018 Revue-Parcours, Four Degrees if Abstraction, À New York (review) Anne-Brigitte Sirois, Four Degrees of Abstraction
Barry Schwabsky, Emergency Eyewash in the house
Morgan Everhart, Through A Glass, Darkly
Elsewhere Studios Resideny Group Show In nite Cantaloupe Elsewhere Studios Resideny March Residents Intervew
BmoreArt, MICA Graduate Thesis Show III (review)
Maryland Institute College of Art, Graduate Alumni Success interview


2018 Art Magazine
ArtMazeMag, Winter Issue 6, UK. (P. 199)

2017 Artist Book
BANG BANG, self published at Baza Fair 2017, US

2005 Short Fiction
sword without heart published at Surprise Volumes – New Concepts Composition Grand
Prix Featured Composition Selected, China


Oct 2012 Magazine : Dating, illustrated article Travel With Mr. Bear
Aug 2011 Magazine : Sunray Story 100, illustrated cover
Jan 2011Magazine : Sunray Story 100, illustrated article Uranus Return
Dec 2010 Magazine : Sunray Story 100, illustrated cover
Sep 2010 Magazine : Sunray Story 100, illustrated article Endless Trip