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Artist Talk and Poetry Reading: Ma Desheng

Exhibition details

1 June, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:

Artist Talk and Poetry Reading: Ma Desheng

A Rebel in Time: From the Stars of 1979 ’till now

Ma Desheng

(Born 1952 in China, lives and works in France)

Ma Desheng is one of the most captivating artists from China, Ma’s early Stars Period (星星) woodblock prints of 1979-1981 publicly confronted and challenged the system. Ma says, “We wanted to express democracy and freedom. And even beauty. At that time beauty was not fashionable.” In 1982, Ma started to work in ink exploring figurative abstraction in his “transcendental bodyscapes” that tread the realms of both painting and calligraphy, and in the following three years from 1983 to 1985 he created a gigantic abstract ink painting at 180 x 5000cm. Ma left China for Europe in 1985, and then moved to the US where he was tragically involved in a car accident paralyzing him from the waist down. The years that followed were difficult. He moved back to France and began to paint in acrylic on canvas. Working from a wheelchair, he uses brush extensions to paint his massive canvasses. One of Ma’s subjects, since the Stars years in China, has been his Rock painting series. Ma explains, “Rocks existed before humans.” Ma’s rocks take on a multitude of ideas – balance and harmony alongside the difficulty in movement. They feel almost human yet clumsy, light yet heavy. They express the human condition and his deep underlying philosophies. Ma Desheng is a published poet and his artworks are collected by the M+ Museum, Hong Kong and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, The British Museum, London, Museum Cernuschi, Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, l’Association du Museum d’Art Contemporaine de Chamalières, France, Museum of Oxford, London, Museum de Melun, France, Asian Art Museum, Nice, Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong.



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