Su Xinping


Nonetheless, no matter how his perspectives change and whatever his attitude may be towards the figures in his paintings, be it respect, critique or pity, there is always an underlying compassion in his work. In revealing the relationship between man and society, the works suggest a certain suspension, or even anxiety. The reflection on the reality and on man in his paintings is rather from the perspective of fate, than from a moral perspective. Certainly, that is not merely a fate that concerns one single individual Chinese, but all men floating in this "floating world".

--Gao Minglu

Born in Jining City of Inner Mongolia, Su Xinping drew in primary school and was identified as a talented student. He was accepted into the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 1979 then continued to paint while in the army for two years, ultimately choosing art as his life’s work and this experience that inspired his earliest lithographic works of nostalgic and quiet scenes of vast grasslands and unchanging people. Growing in a period when art was still commissioned as propaganda, Su wanted to keep a distance from politicized art, directing his attention feelings about life and time. Following completion of his study at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1989,  he began to work with intimate black-and-white depictions of social transformations during the decade of open policy promoted by Deng Xiaoping, expressing his deepest concern for the issues of isolation and lack of communication among people emerging in the new course. Su has exhibited worldwide, featuring in shows like ‘Faces and Bodies of the Middle Kingdom’ at the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague (1997) and ‘Inside Out: New Chinese Art’ at the Asia Society Galleries in New York (1998). Su Xinping established himself as a printmaker, his printmaking allows people to place work in their homes; it is economically important to him.


Though challenged by the time and energy required to teach, Su Xinping taught at the Fine Arts Department of the Normal University of Inner Mongolia (1983) and continues at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. His students do written work so that he can understand their thinking and feelings. Generated by Su Xinping’s passion for the grassland of Mongolia, his affection and reverence for the earth and sky, he encourages his students to pay attention to the environment and to put it in artwork. By means of a smooth and controlled technique he completed Dialogue in 1990, a subject repeated also in 1998. This work reflects the artist’s position in the art trends of the early 1990s, when Cynical Realism was saturating art with feelings of solitary spiritualism, loss of cultural identity and restricted freedom (in whatever sense). Challenged by the increasing pressure posed by the accelerated economic growth, Su’s works of the mid and late 1990s present an in-depth critique to the related psychological concerns, as in the Sea of Desire series. Here he depicts the dissatisfaction and unattainable character of desires in a fast-developing society approaching an open market model of pluralism. Su was nominated as candidate for the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts in 1993.

Su Xinping, "Gray No. 11", 2012; oil on canvas, 150×200cm

Su Xinping, "Man Going About", 2010; oil on canvas, 250×250cm

Solo Exhibitions

2009 Beijing Landscape, US Asian Cultural Academy, Washington DC, USA; Shanghai, China

2008 Toasting- works by Su Xinping(2005-2008), He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2008 Toasting, Dolores De Sierra Gallery, Madrid, Spain 2008 Toasting, Xin Beijing Art Gallery, Beijing, China

2007 Landscape: Oil Paintings by Su Xinping, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2006 Prints by Su Xinping, Taylor Engraving Institute, Singapore

2006 Prints by Su Xinping, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

2005 Prints by Su Xinping, American Association of Asian Art, Denver, USA

2005 Oil Painting by Su Xinping, Flanders Gallery, Minneapolis, USA

2005 Su Xinping’s Portrait Works, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2005 Su Xinping’ Works, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

2002 Su Xinping, Portland Art Gallery, Cleveland, USA

2001 Oil Paintings by Su Xinping, Flanders Contemporary Art Gallery, Minneapolis, USA

2001 Lithographs by Su Xinping, Lingnan Art Museum, Guangzhou, China

2000 Outer Appearance and Inner Mindscape, SOOBIN Art Gallery, Singapore

1999 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, 3.14 Gallery, Oslo, Norway

1999 Prints by Su Xinping, Art Museum of Wallace Art Trust, Auckland; Community Art Museum, Dunedin, New Zealand

1999 Oil Paintings by Su Xinping, Flanders Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, USA

1998 Prints by Su Xinping, LASALLE-SIA Academy of Art, Singapore

1998 New Works by Su Xinping, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

1997 Works by Su Xinping, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

1997 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, Mamalieres Museum of Contemporary Art, Paris, France

1997 Su Xinping’s Exhibition, Flanders Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, USA

1997 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK

1996 A Decade of Printmaking by Su Xinping, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

1995 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, LKF Gallery, Hong Kong, China

1995 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, OIANG Gallery, Atlanta, USA

1993 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, FIRE STATION Gallery, Sydney, Australia; OIANG Gallery, Atlanta; Yellow River Gallery, New York, USA

1992 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, National Art Museum of China; Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

1991 Su Xinping Lithographs, Shanghai Art Museum, China

1990 Su Xinping’ Exhibition, Gallery 13, Hong Kong, China

Su Xinping, "Shadow No.4", 2004; drawing on paper, 160×245cm

Su Xinping, "Lying Man and Receding White Horse", 1988; lithograph, 62×50.5cm

Group Exhibitions

2012 Paper - Non Paper: The 1st China and Japan Paper Art Exhibition, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China

2012 In Time: Chinese Oil Painting Biennale, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2012 Openess and Integration - Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibition, Museum of Fine Art, Budapest, Hungary

2012 Slow Pace - A Kind of Contemporary Art, Li - Space, Beijing, China

2012 Art · Front - Contemporary Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, China

2012 Visionary: Contemporary Fine Art from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Wimbledon, College of Art & Art@GoldenSquare, London, UK

2012 Duchamp' Inframince in Painting/First Zhuangzi International Conference Parallel Exhibition, Beijing Yuan Art Museum, Beijing, China

2011 The Force from Academy CAFA Contemporary Art Exhibition, Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China

2011 A New Horizon – Contemporary Chinese Art, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia

2011 Window in the Wall : India and China – Imaginary Conversations, Pearl Lam Fine Art, Shanghai, China

2010 The 14th Asian Art Biennale, National Academy, Dacca, Bangladesh

2010 ZAOXING - Artwork from the Faculty of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China

2010 The Force from Academy CAFA Contemporary Art Exhibition, Guangzhou Times Museum, Guangzhou, China

2009 Evidence, AYE Gallery, Beijing, China

2009 Yi Pai - Century Thinking, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2009 The First Contemporary China Engraving Academic Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

2009 The 4th Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu, China

2008  Trans Local Motion - 7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2006 Today Chinese Fine Art Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2005 The Wall – Chinese Contemporary Art, Beijing World Art Museum of China Millennium Monument; UB Anderson Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, USA

2005 The 11th India International Triennial, India

2004 China - Traditional and Modern Artists (Cinesi- artisti Fra tradizione e presente), Italy

2003 First Beijing International Art Biennial, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2002 First Guangzhou Chinese Art Triennial, Guangzhou, China

2001 First Chengdu Biennale, China

2001 Group Exhibition in National Art Museum of Singapore, Singapore

2000 New Chinese Art, National Art Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia; Museum of Hong Kong, China

1999 Central Adenaustiftung, Bonn, Germany

1999 Chinese Contemporary Art, LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, USA

1999 Chinese New Art, Modern Art Museum of San Francisco and Museum of Asian Art, San Francisco, USA

1998 Prints from the Square Studio, Shenzhen Art Museum, China

1998 Inside and Outside, Chinese Art from China and Australia, PLIMSOLL Gallery, Tasmanian Academy of Art, Herbert, Australia

1998 Close to the Orient, BRUNEL University, UK

1998 Image from the Central State: Chinese Contemporary Art in 1990s, LTSO ESPO Museum, Finland

1998 New Chinese Art, Asia Society Galleries; P.S.I Museum, New York, USA

1998 Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, MAX PROTETCH Gallery, New York, USA

1997 Chinese Contemporary Art in 1990s, BUDOLFINOM Museum, Braque, Czech

1997 RMIT Gallery in Melbourne; Sydney Academy of Art, Australia

1997 Inside and Outside: Contemporary Chinese Art, LASALLE-SIA Academy of Art, Singapore

1996 Chinese Woodcuts in the 20th Century, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

1996 Chinese Modern Prints, Portland Museum, USA

1995 Chinese Contemporary Art, MARIDIEN Gallery, Australia

1995 Chinese Avant-Garde, Art Museum of Gothenburg, Sweden

1993 Nominated Exhibition of Art Promotion Awards by UNESCO

1993 Japan Kanagawa International Invited Exhibition of Prints, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan

1993 6th International Biennial of Prints and Drawing in Taiwan, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, China

1992 Modern Chinese Prints, Rome, Italy

1991 Osaka International Triennial of Print, Osaka, Japan

1991 World Triennial of Small-Size Prints, France

1991 Sapporo International Biennale of Prints, Sapporo, Japan

1990 China Exhibition of New Comer and New Works, Beijing Museum of Art, China

1989 Chinese Modern Prints, Shanghai Art Museum, China

1989 Chinese Modern Art, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Su Xinping, "Landscape 1", 2007; oil on canvas, 300×1600cm

Selected Collections:

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; National Museum of Modern Art, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, Great British Museum, London; British Woodblock Foundation, UK, Asia·Pacific Museum, Los Angeles; Portland Museum, Portland; SETON HALL University, New Jersey; Gente Museum, Washington State; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA;  LUDWIG Museum, Germany, Yokohama Museum of Art, Fukuoka Art Museum, Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan National Art Museum of Singapore, Art Museum of Singapore University; OTSO ESPO Museum, Finland; National Art Museum of China, Shanghai Art Museum, Shenzhen Art Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, Qingdao Art Museum, Jiangsu Provincial Museum of Art.

Publications: “Theme and Space”, “Fine Art”, “My Creation and Artistic Pursuit”, “Art of Printing”.

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