Xia Xiaowan surpasses the boundaries of painting and establishes a new way of looking at paintings. He draws his inspiration and method from X-ray photographs, giving two-dimensional painting a three-dimensional effect. He combines material, technology and painting, thus maintaining the hand-made qualities of painting while adding elements of installation and sculptural art and displaying the cold, absurd and strange qualities of realism. In this sense, his painting installation alters the way the audience views art. The audience is encouraged to appreciate the artwork from different perspectives and to think about the method by which the work was created. As an integration of sculpture, painting, installation art, photography and medical technology, Xia Xiaowan’s works exude an air of ambiguity. His distinct artistic approach represents the trend of China’s contemporary new painting.
Xia Xiaowan was born 1958 in Beijing. He is currently professor at the Beijing Central Academy of Drama.