Su Xiaobai was born in 1949 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. He graduated from the Wuhan School of Art and Design in 1969, and later joined the Oil Painting postgraduate studio at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1986. He was awarded an Arts and Culture Scholarship from Germany in 1987, which allowed him to pursue his postgraduate studies at the Düsseldorf State Arts Academy, from which he graduated in 1990. Su has been living in Germany and concentrating on his art since 1992.
Su Xiaobai’s works are influenced by Western modernism, which stresses modernity in forms and material, while also cultivated by local Chinese culture. Su has had a special fondness for Chinese lacquer, developed since his early years in industrial arts training. He feels that traditional Chinese lacquer technique is magnificent and delicate, at the same time rich and weighty; nevertheless, the latter features are not immediately apparent. That is why he employs the lacquer techniques in his “painting”, which endows the lacquer with the “Literati grey” aesthetics, as he removes the clean and gaudy features of traditional lacquer. Therefore, the finished “paintings” possess a modern form of beauty. However, Su’s major concern is how to transform the beauty of the object into deeper cultural implications. His main focus is the enchantment of the material, i.e. the material imagination, where the image is only a glimpse of the ideas behind it, and not the artist’s way of expression.
Recent group exhibitions include Chinese Contemporary Abstract: 1980s until Present: Mindmap (2012), Pearl Lam Galleries, Hong Kong, China; Yipai: Thirty Years of Chinese Abstract Art (2008), Beijing, China and Madrid, Spain. And solo exhibitions include Su Xiaobai Solo Exhibition at Raketenstation Hombroich (2010)，Neuss, Germany;
The Dynasty of Colours (2009), Langen Art Gallery, Neuss, Germany; Kao Gong Ji – Su Xiaobai Solo Exhibition (2008), Today Art Museum, Beijing, China; Great Form is Shapeless, Su Xiaobai Solo Exhibition (2007), Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China.