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In the space of just a few years, this Paris-based Chinese photographer has become a driving force in the fashion world, producing portraits of rare pictorial beauty that reflect his cultural roots.

© Kiki Xue

Kiki Xue is one of the emerging names on the photography scene. A native of Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, he initially studied mathematics before embarking on his journey into fashion and art photography in 2010. Since then, the thirty-year-old has been passionately exploring and transcending concepts of beauty, nourished by detail and colour, imperfection and sensitivity, natural light and aesthetic refinement. Kiki Xue draws on the great masters of Renaissance, and on Eastern and Western cultures. But also draws on his current desires and cultural roots. 

© Kiki Xue

His delicate portfolio explores emotions right up to the tipping point, sublimating models, nudity, traditional costumes, objects and still lifes. In 2011, he won the prize at the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan, opening the doors to the legendary magazine’s Italian, Chinese, Greek and Arabic editions. And also Harper’s Bazaar in China.


“For me, portrait photography gives a face to the story in my mind. It’s a combination or collision of two stories, producing a sense of beauty or shock,” explains the man who moved to Paris in 2014. In this goldsmith’s work, Kiki Xue manipulates digital and film cameras. His body of work escapes the norms, crossing the boundaries of fashion and pictorial art in a play of composition, staging, textures, vibrant colours and movement.

© Kiki Xue
© Kiki Xue

“Painting is one of the most important components in my practice: when I want to take photographs, I extract interesting and significant elements from a set of paintings to develop my own works.” In 2022, his delicate approach was the subject of his first book, “Kiki Xue Portraits” (Skira Éditions), in which journalist and art critic Denise Wendel explores the practice of this artist who is one to watch.

Paris – France

Nathalie Dassa