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XU LEI (B. 1963)
XU LEI (B. 1963)

Coloured Rocks

XU LEI (B. 1963)
Coloured Rocks
Scroll, mounted and framed
Ink and colour on silk
45.5 x 64 cm. (17 7/8 x 25 1/4 in.)

Marlborough Gallery, London

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Lot Essay

"Emptiness goes together with substance and truth with fantasy. Reality and illusion are one world: the two underlie and engender each other. The give and take is spontaneous."
- Xu Lei

Xu Lei was born in Nantong, Jiangsu Province in 1963. He was trained at the Nanjing Art Academy and became a resident painter at the Jiangsu Institute of Chinese Painting upon graduation. Xu was an active participant in the New Wave movement and his work was exhibited in the China/Avant-Garde Exhibition in Beijing in 1989.

Xu’s choice of colour palette strikes viewers in their first impression. With refined and restrained gongbi technique, Xu portrays his subject, in a realistic manner, set against mysterious backdrops such as water, curtain and screen. He constructs a fantastical spatial dimension that gives a domestic and estranged context, alluring viewers to imagine the relationship between the subject and its surrounding. For Xu what appeals to him is “how to make a game out of cerebral, rhetorical relations among pictorial figures”. This treatment reminds viewers the works by surrealist painters where the seen and unseen are equally intriguing to one’s eyes.

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