Li Hou

Li Hou, aka Xiao Sun, born in Shanghai in 1938. As a child, Li Hou learnt Chinese calligraphy and painting from his grandmother Tan Zhixiao (niece of Tan Sitong, a well-known politician in Hundred Days’ Reform of late Qing dynasty) and his father Li Da (pseudonym Wu Wo). Later on he became a student studying Western oil paintings under oil master Yan Wenliang. Li’s traditional ink artworks were well-established by the 70s but that did not stop Li. He believes traditional Chinese ink art should make appropriate adaptations with the new era so he started modern Chinese ink creations and made remarkable breakthroughs in this regard. That was when he started to focus on modern Chinese ink creations and made remarkable breakthroughs in this regard.


During the 80s, Li was already well-known overseas. In the 90s, Li was invited to Germany and the U.S., and returned to China eventually. For more than 20 years, he has been traveling back and forth between the East and the West. Li detailed his experience as, “The artworks that I observed and studied in the process, brought some inexplicable changes to me”. He also interprets his artworks as “To brim with joy is to be carefree”. As a matter of fact, Li was one of the artists committed to new ink explorations since Chinese economic reform in 1978. By uniting his solid Chinese ink roots and modern abstractionism, Li’s works are an illustration of a robust grandeur and his personal sensuality. Other than Chinese ink paintings, Li practices Chinese calligraphy as well, inheriting the admirable qualities from the Southern and Northern, Sui and Tang dynasties.


Li has held countless exhibitions at locations such as Hong Kong Arts Centre, Shanghai Art Museum, Germany, U.S., etc. Currently, he resides in the suburbs of Boston, MA, and travels to Shanghai occasionally. He enjoys jazz, practicing calligraphy and painting, and continuing the pursuit of his unique art form as a true free spirit.



1991Christian A. Johnson Art Gallery, Middlebury CollegeVT, USA


Solo Exhibition
2016“Without Beginning Without End” Solo ShowShanghai, ChinaShanghai Gallery 22
2014“A Pioneer in Abstract Ink” Solo ShowShanghai, ChinaShanghai Gallery Europe’ART
2010“Ink Tour in Universe” Solo ExhibitionShanghai, ChinaShanghai 800 Art Museum
2006Select Work of Li Hou, Solo ShowMorrison, NJ, USASimon Gallery
2003Solo ShowShanghai, ChinaDuo Yun Xuan Gallery
1990A solo show of works inspired by the Green Mountains of VermontBurlington, VT, USAFrame of Mind Gallery
1990The Tao of Nature – a solo exhibition of Taoist Philosophy seriesBonn, GermanyDragon Gallery
1988“Xiao Sun’s Modern Artwork” Solo ExhibitionShanghai, ChinaShanghai Art Museum


Joint & Other Exhibition
2019Ink Now 2019 - Li Hou, His World of ArtTaipei, TaiwanExpo Dome, Taipei Expo Park
2018“Beyond Ink”, A Joint Show of Contemporary Ink PaintersShanghai, ChinaChina Art Museum
2015Joint ShowShanghai, ChinaShanghai Gallery Europe’ART
2013Shanghai International Art and Science ExhibitionShanghai, ChinaShanghai Exhibition Center
2009“Our Love”, a Group ShowShanghai, ChinaBroad Gallery
2009Shanghai Abstract Painters Group Show & SymposiumShanghai, ChinaAngle Abstract Art Gallery
20072nd Modern Art Dual Exhibition of Li Hou & John MaShanghai, ChinaXian Ren Art Gallery
2006Modern Art Dual Exhibition of Li Hou & John MaShanghai, ChinaXian Ren Art Gallery
2005Group ShowNew York, NY, USAAlp Gallery
2001Group ShowShanghai, ChinaRi Yue Shan Gallery, Shanghai Art Fair
2000“Conceptual Ink” ShowNew York, NY, USAEthan Cohen Fine Arts
1996Chinese Ink Group ShowTucson, AZ, USAThe University of Arizona Museum of Art
1993Joint Exhibition of Qiu DeShu & Li HouShanghai, ChinaLanxin Jewellery Antique
1991“New Dimension in Chinese Ink Painting” Joint ShowVT, USAChristian A. Johnson Art Gallery, Middlebury College
1990“Landscapes, Figures, Flowers & Birds: Variations from China” Joint ShowHong KongAlisan Fine Arts
1987“A State of Transition-Contemporary Paintings from Shanghai” Joint ShowHong KongHong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries


2005Selected into “Who’s Who in Shanghai Abstract Art”
2004Selected into “Shanghai Independent Art Studios Guide”