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Sanzi Wang Xiaolong.jpg
Born (1965-04-22)22 April 1965
Yangzhou, China
Nationality Chinese
Education Institute of Fine Arts, Hunan Normal University
Known for Painting, Drawing, Sculpture
Notable work Summer Song to Lotus (2007), Autumn (2009)

Sanzi (simplified Chinese: 散子), born in 1965 in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, is a widely recognized contemporary Chinese painter and designer.[1] Known for his mastery of deploying a combination of techniques including Western painting, traditional Chinese ink painting, metal and wood work.

Heavily influenced by Taoism, he often signs his works with “Sanzi” (散子) which has the metaphysical meaning of “floating”, “freedom” and “humility”. Many of the subjects of his paintings reflect concepts of humanity, cosmos and “wu wei” - action through inaction. He also depicts Taoist view of sexuality: valuing the body and mind as positive assets which generate harmony and balance.[2]

He gained recognition in 2005,[3] and is now one of the well-known figures in contemporary Chinese art.[4] He now resides in Suzhou.

Early life[edit]

His father was from Yangzhou, Jiangsu and mother from Pingxiang, Jiangxi. He was an only child and shortly after his second birthday, his father died. The widowed mother, already 46 years old, brought him up despite many hardships, with enduring love and affection. In the middle of the Cultural Revolution, as an intellectual, she became jobless and had to move home repeatedly to make the ends meet.

As a child, he was quiet, serious and often wrapped up in his own world of thoughts. Observing the hardships imposed on his mother through frequent moving, he later adopted the tag name “Sanzi”.

Whilst living in the countryside of Hunan during his elementary and middle school years, a traditional Chinese artist was his neighbour. He developed a great affection for Xiaolong, he tutored and encouraged him to study art. This apprenticeship ended in the early 1980s, when his mother resumed full-time employment after the Cultural Revolution and took Xiaolong to Changsha City, Hunan.

Changsha: Studying and teaching[edit]

In 1983, Sanzi enrolled in the Fine Arts Institute of Hunan Normal University in Changsha. There he studied traditional Chinese ink painting, calligraphy, as well as European oil painting and sculpture. After graduation, he was granted a post-graduate research scholarship and was also assigned to teach newly enrolled students. Soon after he was also gained entry to the Hunan Academy of Art.

During this period, he started experimenting with paint and design using multi-media and mixed-techniques, influenced by Conceptual Art and Post-Modernism. The subjects of this work included landscape, figures, and occasionally still life. He also designed clocks, which incorporated both wood carving and metal work.

In 1997, he left the old city of Changsha to move to the booming metropolis of Shenzhen, in search of inspiration, as well as the opportunity to exhibit his work.

Beginning his Career[edit]

Wang Xiaolong, Queries to Heaven, 2006. Private Collection.

However upon arrival in Shenzhen, he found his attempts to exhibit his work frustrated; boom time Shenzhen society was engrossed in fast money and commerce, not art. In addition, his unconventional approach to art and design set him apart from traditional Chinese work and was not appreciated by the few local art dealers.

After repeated rejection and out of increasing desperation, he decided that his only choice was to promote his works himself. During the year 2000, Sanzi’s works increasingly came to the attention of private European collectors who appreciated the uniqueness of his art. This brought him both recognition and the funding necessary for his later, larger scale solo exhibitions and promotions.

Late 1990s to 2007[edit]

Wang Xiaolong, Middle Summer Bloom, 2006. Private Collection

During the late 1990s to 2007, the subjects of his paintings were increasingly centered around Taoism. In parallel, he created the first female figurative series, and named the series "Summer".

Wang Xiaolong, Summer Song to Lotus, 2006. Private Collection

The works in this period are often rendered in shades of pale grey, light gold, white and eggblue.

He also produced a series of conceptual landscapes later in this period, where the influence of surrealism and cubism can be clearly observed.[5] These landscapes are appreciated as something of a rarity. He signed his works in this period with his full name, with either Chinese characters or Pinyin.

2008 Sanzi Studio[edit]

In early 2008, a few pieces of his work were exhibited in Hong Kong with the assistance of a private curator, which introduced his works to the upper echelons of Hong Kong business. He was contracted to work with the interior design of high profile architecture projects, including the Bank of China Hong Kong Office.

These projects occupied most of his time outside the studio, and the frequent travelling replayed his childhood.

Wang Xiaolong, Queries in Fiery Autumn, 2008. Shanghai Art Museum

During this period, his works took on more intense colour such as fiery browns and bright oranges, although the iconic Taoism figures remained intact.


In the middle of 2009, he moved to Shanghai continuing under the name “Sanzi Studio”. This move brought Sanzi enormous amount of exhibition and commercial opportunities.

Sanzi Studio participated[6] in the 13th Edition (2009) of the Shanghai Art Fair, which "enjoys quite an impact worldwide and evolves as a famous Asia's celebrated art exchange".[7]

He started to get attention from the upper echelons of Shanghai in property development, business and the banking industry. They sought after him to host his exhibitions. Often these commercial entities have linkages in Beijing, Hong Kong and Europe, which further extended his reputation.

In November 2009, he had a solo Exhibition "Artishop • Sanzi • Charity" in Hong Kong, he was visited for the first time by the British auction house Bonhams.[8] The proceedings of the exhibition were used to start the charity “Sanzi Funding” whose primary aim is to provide educational funding for impoverished children.[9]

July 2010, he had another solo exhibition in Shanghai, sponsored by Hang Seng Bank, at Zendai Contemporary Art Exhibition Hall, part of the Zendai Group.[10] In addition to works themed Taoism, he also introduced his latest progress in Abstract Art.[11]

International fame[edit]

He has widely travelled in Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Beijing and etc. His exclusive artwork is currently represented by the famous galleries: Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery in California, Malaysia & Singapore and Taglialatella Galleries in New York and. With his rising popularity, he was ordered to create one background painting for China Pavilion during the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Solo Exhibition, Hong Kong, 2009

Solo Exhibition, Shanghai, 2009 - 2010

Basel Art Exhibition, 2011

Solo Exhibition in New York, 2012

Art Revolution Taipei, 2013

Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong, 2013

Art Expo Malaysia, 2013

Art Revolution Taipei, 2014

Solo Exhibition, Art Busan, 2014

Art Expo Malaysia, 2014

Solo Exhibition, Art Stage Singapore, 2015

Art Expo Malaysia 2015

Singapore Contemporary Art Show, 2016


Auctioned for the first time by the renowned London Auction House, Bonhams in United Kingdom, 2011

Spring Auction by the renowned Beijing Poly International Auction in Beijing, China, 2013

Fall Auctioned by China Guardian Auction, China, 2013

Museum Collections[edit]

荷香 Hexiang (Fragrance of Lotus), Shenzhen Museum

七贤 Qixian (7 Nobelities) is kept in Shanghai World Expo Hall


  1. ^ "Sanzi& Sanzi Studio"
  2. ^ "Sanzi's Taoism" Hong Kong l'Impartial Takungpao
  3. ^ Not • Dao & Works of Sanzi (I), Published 2009 Lingnan Art Publishing House, ISBN 978-7-5362-4046-9
  4. ^ "Sanzi & Sanzi Studio"
  5. ^ Not • Dao & Works of Sanzi (I), Published 2009 Lingnan Art Publishing House, ISBN 978-7-5362-4046-9
  6. ^ "Sanzi Studio" Shanghai Art Fair 2009
  7. ^ "Shanghai Art Fair 2009" Opening speech of Mr. Wang Zhongwei
  8. ^ "Artishop • Sanzi • Charity" HK Entertainment News and Magazine
  9. ^ "Sanzi Hong Kong Exhibition and Sanzi Funding" Chinese Culture Research
  10. ^ "Zendai Art" Zendai Group
  11. ^ "Sanzi Zendai Shanghai Exhibition" DF (Oriental) Daily

External links[edit]