Xie Lei, born in Huainan, Anhui province, China, lives and works in Paris since 2006. After graduating from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, he came to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and then received his PhD (practice-based) in visual arts in 2016 from École normal supérieure and Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris.


In Xie Lei’s paintings, animals and plants are personified and seem to acquire a personality of their own, while human characters are intimately incorporated in their environment, forming one with nature. While these environments are depicted by conventional signs, Xie Lei often eschews delineating ground from sky, proximity from depth and foreground from background, thereby deliberately confusing the viewer’s sense of time and space and disseminating a sense of ethereality into paintings that look no more like windows into a new world but as symbolist talismans facing the viewer.


Xie Lei’s work is included in public and private collections, such as Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC VAL) and Burger Collection. He has been exhibited widely in France, Switzerland and China. Notable solo exhibitions were staged at Yishu 8 in Beijing, Galerie Anne de Villepoix Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts Paris, Z Gallery Arts Vancouver. Significant group shows such as “Persona Grata” in MAC VAL and Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Paris; “How To See [What Isn’t There]”, Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany; “Collection David H. Brolliet – Geneva”, Fondation Fernet-Branca, Saint-Louis; “Memo II” at White Space, Beijing and “Ligne de Chance,” Fondation Ricard, Paris.


Born in Huainan, China in 1983

Lives and works in Paris and Madrid





PhD, Visual arts, Very Honorable with unanimous Jury Congratulations, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and École normale supérieure (PSL), Paris, France


MA, Jury Honours, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, France

2006 BA, Central Academy of Fine-Arts, Beijing


Solo Exhibitions



Meessen de Clercq, ‘Slumbers’, Brussels, Belgium


HdM Gallery, ‘Xie Lei – Christopher Orr (duo)’, London, UK


Z Gallery Arts, ‘Xie Lei’, Vancouver, Canada

2017 Yima Gallery, ‘Walden II’, Chengdu, China

Z Gallery Arts, ‘Poe’s Garden’, Vancouver, Canada

2016 Palais des Beaux-Arts, ‘Entre Chien et Loup’, Paris, France 
2015 Galerie Anne de Villepoix, ‘Sans rivage’, Paris, France
2014 Grenier du Chapître, ‘Murmur’, Cahors, France

Château d’Ardelay, ‘Sortilège et diableries : l’inquiétant ordinaire’, Les Herbiers, France

2013 Galerie Anne de Villepoix, ‘Xie Lei’, Paris, France

Feast Projects, ‘Everything And Nothing’, Hong Kong