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Painting (MA)

Xiaoxue Tang

Nationality: Chinese  

Previous Degrees:

BA Oil Painting, China Academy of Art, 2011-2015 

MA Oil Painting, China Academy of Art, 2015-2018 


Family Bonsai was displayed at “Final, not Over”, Unit 1 Gallery, London, 2020 

Hoeing was displayed at “Snap Shot”, Hockney Gallery, London, 2020 

I curated and participated in “Oh Dear”, Safe House, London, 2019 

Boudoir exhibited in “No Exhibition”, Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai, 2018 

I curated and participated in “Silent Plants”, Hangzhou, China, 2018 

Flower Whispers II was selected into “Inter-Youth: International Paining Exhibition”, Wuhan, China, 2017 

Summer was selected into “Dipingendo Roma”, Rome, Italy, 2016 

Emerald was selected into “Dipingendo Roma”, Rome, Italy, 2015 

The Combination of Three Religions- Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism was selected into the 3rd National Large-scale Exhibition of Mural and the 12th National Exhibition of Fine Arts Exhibition of Mural, Beijing, China, 2014 

Retrospection was selected into “September & Humanity-Zhejiang Oil Painting Exhibition”, China, 2014 

Whispers was exhibited on Century Star Exhibition, China, 2013 

Published Papers: 

A Brief Study of Willem Claesz. Heda’s Still Life Art was published in the journal of Literature Life No.09.2015 Page 176, China, 2015 

Brief Probe into Art Skills and Significance of “Virgin of the Rocks” was published in the journal of Literature Life No.06.2013 Page 79, China, 2013 

A Study on Changes in European Painting Styles since the 19th Century and Artist's Mission was published in the journal of Grand Stage No.06.2012 Page 93, China, 2012 

Romanticism and Life-A Tentative Analysis on Cognition of Lyrical Ballads was published in the journal of Popular Culture& Arts No.06.2012 Page 133,China, 2012 


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Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

The theme of my works is about home, including the interior and exterior, which are presented in the ways of painting, ceramics, embroidery and installation by using some fragile cloths, such as silk, organza, gauze and some slender iron and copper wires, which are dyed with pigment of light colors, to make ittranslucent and delicate, creating a feeling that needs to be cherished. My works mainly touch upon not only the actual space of family building, such as Chinese garden design and courtyard life, but also the emotional relationship of the family, including self-compassion, family relationship and nonviolent communication. I pay attention to the trivial things in daily life and the objects that are frequently used at home, both inside the room and in the garden, such as a cup of coffee, a flower, and the moments that touched me, trying to discover the secret of happiness, through which I intend to study how to establish harmonious family relations, how to deal with the conflicts in the family and how to regain the sense of security. 

It is also worth mentioning that my later creations are influenced by the coronavirus in 2020 to some extent. As I am from Wuhan, where the epidemic broke out just before the Spring Festival, I worried a lot about my family, especially my father who has high blood pressure, and my grandma who is 85 years old. I was very worried at that time, which prompted me to video chat with my family every day. After persistent chatting for three months, I found that my family members are more intimate and connected emotionally, since we know each other better. This inspired me a lot. Thus, in my creations, I focus more on non-violent communication and family healing. 

The rendering of Shelly's Garden — This series includes Bell, Drapery, Family Bonsai and Bird Cage.

Bell — The bell is a secret signal that tells us that someone is about to enter our space.

Drapery — In this work, two sets of banana leaves were made with two different embroidery methods. Banana leaves that are often planted outside the study is used to imply the location of the study here, enabling people to enjoy the cool shade and the drizzle on the plantains. The reason why the study and the tent are linked together is that in China, staying in the study can free yourself from the disturbance of others. This is similar to the function of a drapery, inside which you seem to have your own personal space. And when you roll up the drapery, you might have your privacy exposed, which may result in gossips that you cannot blame anyone.

The details of Drapery

Family Bonsai — This is a part of Shelly’s Garden, which consists of three parts: sugar cubes, rockery, and plants. Rockery and green plants are common images in traditional Chinese gardens, so I made them to indicate that this is a family space, where the stories between family members often happen. I embroidered happy stories of family on the sugar cubes, including the scenes of my family members watching TV, sewing clothes, fishing, going to the doctor and the supermarket, etc. Just as the bonsai needs to be taken good care to form a good shape, the family relations also need to managed and cherished to be harmonious and sweet. With sugar cubes, coffee won’t be so bitter, just as the problems and conflicts in family life would be eased through nonviolent communication with the help of sweet moments.

The details of Family Bonsai

The details of Family Bonsai

Bird Cage — Sometimes I feel that my family overprotects me. This makes me feel that I have lost my freedom, so I made a bird cage in the way of crinoline making. On the other hand, I can also feel the hard work of my family, so I put a handkerchief embroidered with a scene of my dad planting in it.

Since ancient times, the establishment of family relations in China is inseparable from the courtyard life. The courtyard not only reflects the scope of an architectural space, where dwellers live their daily life, share secrets and stories, and take part in various activities, but also infuse the various moods and emotions of the people living in it. The objects that exist in the courtyard are not just objects, but also a kind of artistic conception and pursuit of life. So, I tried to explore the relationship between humans and all things in the world by making drapery, plants, sugar cube, bird cage and handmade butterflies and other objects, so as to explore the relations between man and the nature, to gain the inner peace and tranquility.


Organza; Silk; Cotton; Iron wire; Gauze; Clay; Pigment; Beads; Latex; Sequins


200cm X 150cm X 200cm

The rendering of Have A Good Night — This series includes Bricks, Flower Ball & Honeycomb, A Night Cat and Withered Roses.

Bricks — Just like words are the foundation of communication, bricks are the foundation of a house, so I made three bricks, on which I embroidered some problems or ‘wounds’ in my life, such as the scenes of my parents quarrelling and the difficulties I met when learning English.  In family life, the good and bad emotions among the family members form the foundation of the home called ‘family’. Since my English is not good, I often use the words "emmmm?" and "so ..." to avoid embarrassment.  So, I chose gauzes that it is used to wrap the wounds to imply that all the problems can be solved, whether in family relations or language learning. 

Flower Ball & Honeycomb — I made an embroidered polyhedron, inspired by the flower window in the traditional Chinese garden design. In addition, I made the honeycomb using the smock method commonly used in clothing and added little bees and a spider to hint at my understanding of the family through how the animals work in a collective division of labor. 

The details of Flower Ball & Honeycomb

The details of Flower Ball & Honeycomb

The details of Flower Ball & Honeycomb

A Night Cat — I put a cat with blown hair, both to frighten myself and to frighten others as a guard, protecting bees that represent my family.

Withered Roses — This work was inspired by Wilde's Nightingale and Rose. Sometimes, the beautiful story brings fear and death. So, I made a withered rose, and its leaves are also wounded and eaten by worms.

The details of Withered Roses

This group of works involves my understanding of love and fear. As I grew older, I was full of mistrust and fear for many things. I also inevitably have negative emotions such as irritability and negativity in family relationships, which made it hard for me to sleep peacefully at night. This is when I began to feel that I should start reading fairy tales again. So, I built beautiful flower windows and honeycombs, built bricks, made dry roses, spiders and cats, etc., to build a fairy tale world that belongs to me.


Organza; Silk; Cotton; Iron wire; Gauze; Clay; Pigment; Beads; Sequins; Flower; Oil Painting; Wood; Velvet


150cm X 110cm X 150cm

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