Powder · Dust – Ma Shuqing
Through painting as an activity, Ma Shuqing (b.1956, in Tianjin) comes up with a distinctively two-dimensional visual space based on color and time. Since his overseas study in late 1980s in Germany, Ma Shuqing has long dedicated himself to exploring and researching on abstract painting. His paintings reveal a sense of restoration of individuality and spirituality permeating in the process of painting, presenting a kind of solely minimalistic color as well as a space of visual sensibility. In building up the image, Ma Shuqing disguises the repeatedly intricate procedure of smearing the paint and rich color representation over the basis layer, whereas on the top layer it showcases monochrome and refreshingly condensed color. In such an artistic way, in the artist’s view, painting as visual art intuitively touches the optic nerve on one hand, and it retains a sense of uncertainty in painting on the other. Such kind of uncertainty lies in the problems “beyond painting” which the artist has long been concerned with, a reflection on more than painting techniques.
“Powder·Dust” is afigurative expression of thinking mode in the process of engaging in the Space series. By evenly spraying the mineral-colored powder onto the canvas, it is filled with colorful dust spreading all over the wall, floor and even up in the air. Floating in the field namely the working space, the incorporeal dust mirrors the color of memory, generating the final image at last. “I have settled down in the art studio, this allows me to spare more time to view the artwork that I have been working on whenever necessary. Usually, a major breakthrough might be achieved all of a sudden; however, it’s not the case when you deliberately view it in the process of painting. In a sense, such occasional viewing seems as natural as people ‘really’ watch it in person, it gives rise to a number of chances and possibilities to give it a try. By reflecting on abstract painting, figurative painting and non-representational painting as well as Concrete Art, I have learned more ways to push back the boundaries of painting.”
With no restraint of two-dimensional painting, the artist intricately smears the transparent as well as the non-transparent color on the canvas, producing truly tangible space of color along the frame. Although color is visible as it is and space and time remain invisible, taking a closer look, hidden color blocks may occasionally pop into viewers’ sight. In a sense, this simply enriches layer of the painting and unmasks a trace of time and space meanwhile. “I have no idea how to acutely define what I paint, whereas I view painting as an art form that is far beyond language, written language can by no means be a substitute for vision. With every passing day we have our own viewpoint, how each individual sees the world is simply different from one to another”.
The present exhibition features the latest artistic creations of the artist, showcasing artist Ma Shuqing’s artistic presence in comprehensively visual terms.