Mao Yan's Oil Painting Studio 2 is expected to sell for $469,890-783,150 at Sotheby's in Beijing.
Yan is a former child prodigy, who mastered oil painting during his teenage years and received the Academic Prize at the Guangzhou Biennale Art Fair in 1992 - at the age of 24.
The present lot is typical of his particular brand of "psychological portraiture", with which he projects the inner thoughts of his sitters.
Sotheby's comments: "The most remarkable aspect of Mao Yan's works is his unique brushwork, particularly the chiaroscuro he uses on faces, which conveys anxiety and tension as if every gesture touched a nerve.
"Mao Yan's portraits are ultimately his own psychological self-representations, but they sensitively reflect the anxiety, solitude, and spiritual melancholy of our age."
Yan's work is attracting strong attention from buyers in China, with a work titled Female Body selling for $674,069 in 2014.
Xu Lei's Wandering the City is valued at $250,608-313,260.
Xu is a Nanjing-based painter who works in the traditional gongbi (fine-line) ink painting technique.
The auction house explains: "Xu exhibits an unusual artistic language of magical realism that distinguishes him as one of the most sophisticated contemporary painters of his generation."
Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about art and photography auctions.