Vanguard gallery

Layered Surface


Leo Arnold, Wang Xiaofu, Yi Xi Tong, Yu Xiao   









Vanguard Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by Yi Xin TONG, Leo ARNOLD, YU Xiao, and WANG Xiaofu. Titled “Layered Surface”, the exhibition brings together pieces which take the two-dimensional surface as a starting point to explore new alternatives for artistic practices. Beyond the different sociocultural contexts and art trajectories the exhibited artists are in, what coheres their practices is the desire to broaden the conventions with their own approaches and perspectives. The exhibition will be on view at Vanguard Gallery from March 18th through May 14th, 2023.







A flaneur of modern days, Yi Xin TONG collects fragments of daily life and transforms them into poem. The tapestry work on view, “Animalistic Punk – Bones” (2019), is a collage of allegories and ecological studies, in which myriads of human relics, science histories, mythologies, and landscapes construct fictional spaces with a sense of confusion of time coordinates. With its intricate and ornate patterns, this piece of tapestry is conceived as a two-dimensional installation, which embodies the artist’s conceptual experiment on the acquisition, classification, extraction and use of human knowledge.



 Animalistic Punk – Bones

Jacquard tapestry, galvanized metal tube, steel eye bolts|160 x 284 cm|2019








For Leo ARNOLD, painting is an instrument to reflect on the artist’s own image and his surroundings. During the process of painting, he constantly returns to the same piece of work and deposits moods and emotions that have been accumulated over time. Drawing inspirations from reality, Arnold works in a receptive and open manner, responding to the very nature of painting. His paintings are not premeditated therefore offering the viewer a record of a discovery. In this sense, unforeseen moments, accidents, and mistakes have become essential to his most recent body of work. By revisiting his canvases, Arnold makes alterations and allows spontaneousness in the picture plane, making peace with qualities such as anxiety, regret and uncertainty.





Oil on canvas|60 x 50 cm|2021—2022







YU Xiao


YU Xiao’s practice subverts the idea of seen and unseen in the making of paintings. By center- staging the area of potential vulnerability or nothingness, Yu Xiao aims to elucidate the back or underside of the paintings, the leftover, the frame, or otherwise neglected, and to uncover the underlying structure of painting, divulging the complex materials and techniques applied in her oeuvre whilst highlighting the physical dimension of the painted surface. The works’ appearance merges the hybrid abstraction of gesture and geometrical imagery as well as sculptural exterior. They are the result of painting, printing, physical manipulations. Yu Xiao re-examines aesthetics and deconstruction as methods while aligning with new technologies to offer an alternative route to the tradition of painting.




Roll 50, No. 21

Acrylic on cotton|10 x 50 x 50cm|2020






WANG Xiaofu


The painted surfaces created by WANG Xiaofu offer an atmosphere that is on the brink of becoming abstract, where recognizable elements appear as guideposts that draw the viewer into a realm of dreams. One traverses the canvas with a sense of dizziness, oscillating between the actuality of the forms and their illusory nature that toys with perception. The act of painting enables Wang the opportunity to reflect on the intersection between existence and perception, in common with the overlaps, reflections, and opacities that often occur between the two. The foci on “forest” and “theater” have been the kernel of her latest practice, based on which she depicts the distortion of life-forms and environments through the lens of time, blurred and morphed beyond recognition.




Butterfly and Ponds

Acrylic on linen|122×153 cm|2021







‘Layered Surface’ Works Info – Vanguard Gallery 






Yi Xin Tong was born in Lushan, China in 1988. He received a Bachelor of honor from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (2012) following two years of study at China University of Geosciences, Beijing from 2005 to 2007. In 2014, he finished his study from the Department of Studio Art at New York University and received his MFA degree. He has won the award of the first Prix de la Fondation Choi pour l’art contemporain. Tong now lives and works in New York. His recent solo/duo projects include: “Petrified Seas, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2022); “Environnement, Mon Amour”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2022); “World River Atlas”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai (2020); “The Attraction Show—Origin of Ripples”, Snarte Space, Nanchang, China (2019); “Going Outside”, Nanhai Art, Millbrae, California, USA (2018). He also attended the following group exhibitions: “Layered Surface”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2023); “Map of Dusk”, Jinjiang Hotel, Shanghai, China (2023); “Year by Year”, DEJI Art Museum, Nanjing, China (2023); 2022 Beijing Biennial, National base for international cultural trade, Beijing, China (2022); “Multispecies Clouds”, Macalline Art Center, Beijing, China (2022); “Beast, Chimera, Kin”, Hessel Museum of Art, New York, US(2022); “Liauid Ground”, UCCA Dune, Heibei, China (2022); “Boomerang – OCAT Biennale 2021”, OCT Art &Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China (2021); “Liquid Ground”, Para Site, Hong Kong, China (2021); “Durational”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2021); “Being in the Void”, Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China (2021); “From Checkers to Complex Systems”, Times Art Museum, Chengdu, China (2021); “Meditations in an Emergency”, UCCA, Beijing, China (2020).



Leo Arnold was born in 1993 in London, UK, and now lives and works between Amsterdam and London. He studied at Glasgow School of Art (UK) and was resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam (NL). In 2020 Arnold received the ‘Buning Brongers Prijs’ and the ‘Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst’ in 2019. His recent solo/duo exhibitions include: “Dweller”, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2022); “Art Cabinets”, Stua, Madrid, Spain (2017); “Pendolino”, New Glasgow Society, Glasgow, UK (2017). He also attended the following group exhibitions: “Layered Surface”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2023); “Dancing with Octopuses”, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2021); “Buning Brongers Prize”, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL (2020); “The Offspring”, De Ateliers, Amsterdam, NL (2020).



Yu Xiao is a contemporary artist and art educator. Born in Hangzhou, China, she currently lives and works in London and is undertaking practice-led research at the Royal College of Art. She has been working on painting, installation and performance, and has held four solo exhibitions so far; She has also been invited to participate in many important group exhibitions in China, UK, Italy, Poland and USA, such as the RA Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, the ‘Metaforms’ public project exhibition at Art Basel Miami, ‘Here/Elsewhere’, at Hexiangning Art Museum, etc.; Her works have been exhibited at international fairs such as Art Basel, WestBund and ART021 and have been collected by institutions and private individuals.


Her recent solo exhibitions include: “Unseen Paintings”, Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China (2018); “The Possibilities of Paintings”, Art Now Gallery, Bejing, China (2016); “Paintings of small difference”, Art Now Gallery, Bejing, China (2013); “Aspects”, WSA Gallery, Warsaw School of Art Warsaw, Poland (2011). She also attended the following group exhibitions: “Gather or Flee”, CMAC Art and media center, San Francisco, USA (2023); “Layered Surface”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2023); “Unruly Encounter”, Southwark Park Gallery, London, UK (2022); “Worldwide express”, Daechumoo Fine Art, Gangneung, Korea (2021); “Waiting for Connection”, BACA Art centre, Beijing, China (2020); “You Won Fair and Square”, ArtBox, Beijing, China (2020) etc.




Wang Xiaofu was born in 1991, and now lives and works in Shanghai. She studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (BFA) and the Le. Roy Hoffberger School of Painting (MFA) at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was awarded a fellowship by Shandaken paint school 2018-2019, a full-award art institution based in New York, and was selected as a nominee for the 2018 Rema Hort Man Emerging Artist Grant New York Region. Artist residencies she has visited include Art Farm Nebraska (Nebraska, 2022/2018), Sass-Fee Summer Institute of Art (Berlin, 2019), and Elsewhere Studio Residency (Colorado, 2018). The primary medium of her artistic practice is painting. She is also a writer and is currently working on art reviews for Ocula.


Her solo exhibitions/projects include: “The Park: a socially engaged project”, Wuhan Xinrunkang Psychiatric Rehabilitation Hospital, Wuhan, China (2019); “Pensée Clubs”(online), Also Gallery, US (2018); “SHA SHA”, Lazarus FLIV Hallway Gallery, Baltimore, US (2016). Also, she attended the following group exhibitions: “Layered surface”, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China (2023); “Floriography”, The Yard: Greenpoint, Brooklyn, US (2022); “A Hunger Artist”, Élysée, Shanghai, China (2021); “Super Fusion——2021Chengdu Biennale”, Tianfu Art Park, Chengdu, China (2021); “Pararailing EP.5”, Para railing artist residency, Shanghai, China (2021); “Rituals in Rituals of the future”, Himalayas Museum, Shanghai, China (2021); “Unanswered Question”, AM Art Space, Shanghai, China (2020); “THere”, Studio Gallery, Shanghai, China (2020) etc.