Born in Hebei Province. Graduated from the Art Department of Hebei Normal University, Xu is now an associate professor at the Art Department of Baoding Normal School. Her works were included in the first Biennial Chinese Oil Paintings Exhibition (1993), the Exhibition of Works by Chinese Women Artists (1995), the Annual Exhibition of Chinese Oil Paintings (1995), the first Biennial Shanghai Art Exhibition and the first Oil Painting Academic Exhibition of China (1996), New Century-the Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Young Chinese Artists (1997), the Centennial Art Exhibition by Women Artists at the National Art Museum, and the Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Landscape Painting and Oil Landscape Painting (1998). She won an academic award at the first Biennial Chinese Oil Paintings Exhibition, a gold medal at the 1995 Annual Exhibition of Chinese Oil Paintings, and a collector’s award at the Exhibition of Works by Chinese Women Artists. Xu’s works are collected by the Shanghai Art Gallery, the art gallery of Mountain Art and Culture Foundation, and Taida Museum of Contemporary Arts. Publications include the painting album The Land in Deep Thoughts – Xu Xiaoyan Oil Painting Awards, and the thesis I-Land-Painting.
Xu’s work is discussed in Shu-chin Tsui’s presentation The Gendering of Space: From Ruin Aesthetics to Urban Narratives.