Shafei Xia

Shafei Xia (b. 1989, Shaoxing, China) currently lives and works in Bologna, Italy. Shafei’s works explore the cruder aspects of contemporary reality, in which we feel powerless, frightened at times, and often insecure through works that combine human emotions and animal instincts. She makes paintings on sandal paper mounted on canvas and ceramic works. She often represents herself as a tiger, a symbol of power and instinctive force, which in Chinese alchemy indicates the active principle, energy as opposed to the passive principle. Furthermore, the tiger as the motif has shown a gradual change in her works, it becomes more playful and personable overtimes, hinting at the subrogation of power among agents overtime.

In 2013, After graduating in set design from ChongQing University in China, she turned down a steady job in
her native city to move to Shanghai where after various experiences her first sale of a work enabled her to “catch the scent of freedom in the air,” as she writes. She moved to Bologna and completed her degree at the Fine Arts Academy in 2020. In 2019 she won the Talent Prize of Fondazione Zucchelli per l’Arte. Her ongoing exhibitions include include It is Better to be Cats than be Loved, Tabula Rasa Gallery (London, 2022), Passando avanti alla mia finestra, P420, Bologna, IT (solo, 2022); quel jour sommes- nous?, Tokonoma, Kassel, DE (2022); Il giardino dell’arte. Opere, collezioni, Centro Pecci per l’Ar- te Contemporanea, Prato, IT (2022).

It is Better to be Cats than be Loved, Group show, Tabula Rasa Gallery, July 2022



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Tabula Rasa Gallery  (London)