Skip to Main Content

Xiao Wang


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).

Artist Statement:

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.

For more of his work, follow his website:
and follow him on social media through his Instagram: @Xiaowang_artist
A painting of a dense wall of green and purple fig leaves with a larger than life face looking through it from behind
A painting where a women is climbing a slanted tree, with large succulents in the foreground
The Passage
A painting of lush green-blue succulents with an anonymous nude man in the pale yellow background
The Departure
A painting of a poppy flower in a mutated light blue color against background of warm sunset sky, composed in portrait style
Blue Sunset
A painting of a closed up view of an agave plant, with its original yellow stripes replaced with red
A painting of a wall of purple fig leaves against bright yellow background
A portrait of a women bathed in turquoise light from one direction and purple light from the other. She holds her face while look downwards.
A painting of a women walking up a stairway while staring into the space ahead of her. She is illuminated by red and turquoise light
Ascending Stairs #1:
A painting of a women walking up a stairway while staring into the space ahead of her. The wall is painted with waved stripes pattern
Ascending Stairs #2
A painting of a man against bright pink background, with smoke half covering his face
Riddle Whisperer
A painting of a women staring into the space ahead of her. She is illuminated by red and turquoise light
A painting of spacious stairwell space, painted in blue, turquoise, purple, and pink. A man walks up into the space with hesitation, behind him is a yellow stained glass window