Ma Baozhong

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In hindsight, Ma Baozhong’s expulsion from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989 was a major milestone in his artistic career. Having come all the way from Manchuria’s Heilongjiang, Ma was devastated to loose such a prestigious position within capital. His expulsion resulted from a complex series of political intrigues within the academy, due to the buildup and ultimate climax of the political tension that year. However, from his expulsion, Ma was liberated from the mainstream academy style of painting. He soon felt emancipated in terms of style, form, and even subject matter, and experimented with Western and Avant-Garde ideas previously inaccessible to him.

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Unlike other Beijing artists whose art also reflect on the contemporary society, Ma Baozhong’s art does not follow the common academy styles of Political Pop Art or Cynical Realism. Instead, Ma developed a fresh approach of social commentary and critique with personal style and traces of Socialist Realism. Through his interest and knowledge of history and politics, Ma’s art reflects on social and political concerns both within China and on the global stage. In his commentary and critique, Ma consciously removes himself from any obvious viewpoints, and adopts the position of the neutral observer for a number of reasons. Firstly, similar to a political journalist, Ma must maintain a certain degree of professionalism, and not be automatically subjected to what is considered politically correct viewpoints or popular opinions. Secondly, from a neutral observer’s position, Ma shields himself from possible political attacks on him and his art. However, Ma’s compositions cleverly constructed and encoded with artistic language. When carefully read by the learned art viewer, one can read into Ma’s mind, and decode his subtle commentary and critique.

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Exhibitions

Tangled Dislocation

Chen Yufei, Ma Baozhong
Oct 22 – Nov 19, 2013
National Chiao Tung University Art Center, Hsinchu

In the Prime of Vitality

Chen Yufei, Guo Kai, Huang Ming-che, Hung Tien-yu, Hsu Yu-jen, Lin Pang-soong, Ma Baozhong, Sun Liang, Wang Yigang, Yang Shu, Yu Youhan
Oct 27 – Nov 16, 2012