Xiao Wang is a Chinese painter who lives and works in the US. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland where he received his BFA degree in Painting and Printmaking. He continued his study at the San Francisco Art Institute and earned his MFA degree in Painting. Wang currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Wang has shown internationally in Europe and the United States. In 2014, he received the San Francisco Foundation’s Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Award. During recent years he was awarded 1st place for the Anne Bremer Memorial Prize and the silver award for the Art Forward Contest. In 2016, he was nominated for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA award. His work has been featured in publications such as Hi-Fructose Magazine, Create Magazine, and New American Paintings. Wang has also attended artist residency programs at MASS MoCA (MA), the Vermont Studio Center (VT), Root Division (CA) and Art Point (CA).
I am a figurative oil painter working with dramatic colors and thin glazes to render realistic figures and landscapes. My work reimagines the tradition of romanticism that established the dynamic between landscape and ego. Within this dynamic, imageries of nature have served as emotional, spiritual, and political utilities and expressions. In my paintings, the idea of the ego in the landscape is removed from the center of the expression. I paint vegetation with a sublime and supernatural quality by distorting its form and color, depicting plants as uncanny and threatening beings. Simultaneously, I portray human figures with feelings of confusion and resignation, putting them at the mercy of the landscape.
I reference visual and conceptual elements from The Symbolist Movement and its legacy in order to create unsettling imageries and narratives. Inspired by the sense of feeling lost and uncertain that the Symbolists explored in the context of the Industrial Revolution, I want my paintings to speak to contemporary anxieties in the face of environmental crisis and moral uncertainty.