Massimo Antonaci
Billy Apple
Rasheed Araeen
Siah Armajani
Fereydoun Ave
Bertozzi & Casoni
Matthew Brandt
Faiza Butt
Szelit Cheung
Vittoria Chierici
Christopher Doyle
Naiza Khan
Abbas Kiarostami
Lee Mingwei
Amal Lin
Ma Desheng
Erbossyn Meldibekov
Shubigi Rao
Tenzing Rigdol
Leang Seckon
Tsherin Sherpa
Elisa Sighicelli
Nicole Wong
Ma Desheng
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Born in 1952 in Beijing, Ma Desheng was deemed ‘unfit’ by the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts to be formally trained as an artist. So instead, he self-trained as a woodblock craftsman, producing highly expressive monochrome prints, and began working on his own with the traditional Chinese medium of ink and brush. His depictions of stones and, especially, his unromanticised portrayal of the working class and peasants offered a shocking and rare counter to the propaganda imagery offered at the time by the Chinese Communist Party.

Ma rose to prominence in the late 1970s as one of the founding members of the Stars Group, which organised two public exhibitions that were both quickly quashed by authorities. After being arrested for his role in arranging the group’s first show as well as a subsequent crackdown on ‘liberal thinkers’, the artist relocated to Europe in the 1980s. Following serious physical injuries incurred in a car accident in 1992, Ma was forced to begin working in a different medium; this time, with acrylic paint, creating large and bold pieces that continued to reflect the stone motifs touched upon in some of his earlier woodblock prints and ink paintings.

His works are held in public and private collections around the world, including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK; the British Museum, London, UK; Fundação Oriente, Macau, China; the Fukuoka City Museum, Japan; Musée de Melun, France; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, Paris, France; and the University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong. Ma now lives and works in Paris.

Selected Works
Rock 6
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm (59 x 78 ¾ in)
Rocks 5
Acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm (59 x 78 ¾ in)
Untitled 1
Woodblock print on Chinese paper
22.8 x 22.4 cm (9 x 8 ¾ in) Paper size: 69.2 x 56.8 cm (27 ¼ x 23 in)
Untitled 2
Woodblock print on Chinese paper
20.2 x 26.5 cm (8 x 10 ½ in) Paper size: 69.2 x 56.8 cm (27 ¼ x 23 in)
Selected Works 1978-2013
Jun 7
Jul 25, 2013