Ma Ke: The Rider Under Backlight

Art and Design Press

2020-07-31 12:41:30


Ma Ke was born in Shandong province in 1970 and graduated from the Oil painting Department of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. In 1993, he became one of the first batch of winners of the Luo Zhongli Scholarship.

Like most people in the 1970s, he came from a poor family. His father and grandfather both liked to draw. Ma Ke in his childhood was experiencing material and spiritual privation while he was immersed in the beautiful, abstract and free world in art books. Perhaps because of this, he fell in love with painting, and this word "like" made his artistic career.

For 30 years he had a perverse love of painting. Ma Ke said that his painting is the art of cognition. It doesn't offer values, it offers a world view. Our values are our judgments of the information we see. So the premise of values is "see". The world view is how we "see," how we get information. Therefore, "the essence of the world in front of me is language, and the essence of language is abstraction" became Ma Ke's world view. In the Riding On the Void series, there is a primal vitality and romantic sparkle. He doodles large areas of color and shapes them on top of each other. Then he uses rough lines to outline trees, horses, and riders walking on steel wires. The color blocks in the picture are sometimes corresponding to and sometimes opposite to the objects described by the lines.

For Ma Ke, a lot of so-called innovation is just the discovery of existing natural laws, not the real creation. In art, he didn't try to create new ideas, he didn't care if he came up with new ideas, he just wanted to take the painting he liked a little bit further. "The so-called valuable part of painting must stand on the shoulders of the master before you can reach the so-called height. When I say I walk in the path of others, but do not create myself, it is because there are countless masters who have come and known the world. They lead you to see it, like a lamp. I am just walking on a road full of lights."


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