Gao Xintong | Beyond Visible: London

26 January - 8 February 2023

Beyond Visible

Solo show by Gao Xintong HOFA, London

Curated by Dagmar Carnevale Lavezzoli at


Request Catalogue


 Celebrating Chinese New Year 2023 






Gao Xintong’s research draws inspiration from the art of great Western masters including Picasso and Boccioni, to name but a few, and the centuries-old practice of Shan-Shui 山水 - traditional Chinese landscape painting. As a young artist from China currently based in Italy, his art becomes the result of living between Eastern and Western civilisations.

Absorbing aspects from both cultures, Gao brings forth his own Weltanshaung by
deconstructing and rebuilding visual elements through a vibrant colour scheme mixed with subtle transparencies. His pieces often seek to create an illusion by manipulating people’s perceptions of portraits. These are abstract visions, yet when viewed appear to be akin to human faces.

Drawing on the heterogeneity of figurative possibilities Gao extracts an improbable figure - a figure that can go beyond its own limits, expanding into light and motion. Alluding to a similarity yet distancing himself from it, Gao Xintong’s aim is not that of depicting recognisable features. On the contrary, his figures are a lyrical attempt to capture the immaterial realm beyond the visible world, creating a continuity with the spirit of the ancient Shan-Shui paintings [1].

Seeking to originate forms growing out of colours, and colours growing out of forms, the final composition reveals a unified holistic vision where reminiscences of human and natural shapes emerge as mosaics of unpredictable possibilities, inviting us to go beyond fixed patterns and challenging our perceptions.

Gao Xintong’s works celebrate a painterly encounter between what is hidden and what is manifest, between movement and fixity, between brushstrokes and nuances, ultimately yearning towards the Yin-Hsien 隐显 (invisible-visible) “the art of not showing everything in order to keep the breath alive and the mystery intact” [2].

“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”

Paul Klee


[1] “Chinese depictions of nature are seldom mere representations of the external world. Rather, they are expressions of the mind and heart of the individual artists”. The Metropolitan Museum, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - Essays Landscape Painting in Chinese Art 
[2] Francois Cheng “Empty and Full, The Language of Chinese Painting” 1979