Although Xiaobai Su began his career with Social Realist imagery, when he moved to Germany in 1987 and began studying with Gerhard Richter, his work jumped to the other end of the spectrum. Since the 1990s, Xiaobai has reflected upon the essential characteristics of color, shape, and surface glorified by Western Abstract art through his paintings. His work with lacquer, a traditional Chinese medium, resin, and oil paint upon linen or wood is attached to Buddhist principles and strives to inspire contemplation. Mystical, often monochrome, compositions link the ancient and modern in their formal explorations. Xiaobai’s textured works unite the philosophical and tangible qualities of paintings, physically prompting a momentum that shifts them from abstract objects to items that embody a personal experience. He strives to “engage with the idea of being itself” in these meditative works.
Xiaobai has exhibited at Langen Art Foundation, Neuss, Germany, Today Art Museum, Beijing, Shanghai Art Museum, China, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Baden Museum, Solingen, Germany, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, and La Caixa Forum, Barcelona, among many other international galleries. He exhibited in the first Beijing International Art Biennale in 2003.