Vanguard gallery

An Inward Odyssey



Artist: Xiao Jiang

Duration: June 2–June 20, 2021

Vernissage: June 2, 2021, 14:00-18:00

Venue: Lianhua Apartment, 7-314, 314 Tongren Road, Shanghai



Vanguard Gallery is pleased to present “Xiao Jiang: An Inward Odyssey”, a parallel project to the artist’s ongoing exhibition “Mountains Aside” at the gallery space on Moganshan Road. Taking place at a private apartment space on Shanghai’s Tongren Road, “An Inward Odyssey”, opens on June 2, unpacks a selection of works from Xiao Jiang’s multiple painting series since the 2010s, with new possibility and intertextuality to be contemplated in accordance to the site-specific display. Following Xiao Jiang’s artistic trajectory, the current exhibition periodically reviews his concept and evolutions in painting.


Paintings in “An Inward Odyssey” collectively invoke a sense resembling the backstage of realistic theatre with unexpected encounters of sets of scenery laying out in the open or objects tucked away in corners. A sofa, a telephone, a basin, a desk…, every object is seemingly ordinary but possesses their distinct allure for constant scrutiny—objects that could be regarded as carriers of potential plots or activators of dramatic turns. However, Xiao Jiang’s works provide no stage for storytelling or staged conflicts, the tension is instead soothed into everlasting serenity akin to the moment waiting for the transaction between scenes. On most occasions, figures walk through the picture plane and vanish. When captured by the canvas, their formation is removed of any trace of posture or performance, as if the figures are unaware of the presence of a gazing eye.


The experience of encountering Xiao Jiang’s painting is one where your presence is synchronised with the subject rather than looking at its depiction: your presence is neither actively greeted nor recked of, as a tacit understanding between the painting and the viewer being extended through the painter’s unvoiced invitation. Whether granting entrance to indoor scenes blended with the real and the fictitious, or showing the way to a journey out and beyond, Xiao Jiang’s painting ultimately endues an inward exploration.


The exhibition will be on display from 10am to 6pm everyday through June 20.


The venue of this exhibition is generously supported by Mr. Lu Xun and Sifang Art Museum.




Xiao Jiang(b. 1977)

At the first glance at Xiao Jiang’s works, one would be encompassed with the sharp atmosphere. Something is left unsaid by his works, expressing the power in silence. Xiao Jiang’s works have drawn materials from episodes of movies and real life which are so familiar to people that are easily ignored. Under the artist’s unique perspective, they are cut out and recombined. Xiao takes inspiration from reality but structures them into an absolute fantasy world, leading the audience to dislocated visionary feelings.


Xiao Jiang was born in Jinggangshan, Jiangxi Province in 1977. He studied at China Academy of Art from 2000 to 2003. He now lives and works in Shanghai. His recent solo exhibitions include: “Mountains Aside”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2021); “In Common”, LEO Gallery, Hongkong, China (2020); “Right in Sight”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2018); “MOUNTAINS”, MOCUBE, Beijing (2017). He also attended the following group exhibitions: “A Turning Moment”, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2019); “The Kind Stranger”, UNArt Center, Shanghai, China (2019); “Incandescence”, BIG SPACE x Chino gallery, Shanghai, China (2019); “Group Exhibition in Summer—To Youth”, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China (2019); “Decoherence”, ShanghART M50, Shanghai, China (2017).