Eli Klein Fine Art is proud to present the first solo exhibition in New York of Ma Bing, whose masterful paintings provide striking and nostalgic views of Beijing.
In Ma Bing’s new works, a fresh approach to painting is presented by the layering of various media – including oil, acrylic, pencil, and tea – on the surface of the canvas. The interplay between subtle shifts in tone and refined line drawing that permeate the work are reminiscent of traditional Chinese ink and wash paintings. He integrates this traditional Chinese style with Western oil painting.
Ma Bing’s diverse array of subjects, all painted in his distinctive style, present the artist’s fond recollections of Beijing. He is deeply inspired by the traditional architecture which he encounters throughout the city. Providing more than just depictions of the city, Ma Bing’s paintings imbue their subjects with sensuality. Through his skillful rendering, subdued palate, and sensitivity to landscape, Ma Bing invokes the memories of those places he frequents and makes the city come to life.
The tumultuous era of China’s Cultural Revolution has been replaced with a new age of rapid industrialization resulting in a stark change in the city’s architecture. Rather than focus on these profound changes, Ma Bing omits the crowded thoroughfares of contemporary Beijing to focus attention on those ancient details of the city, stone lions, stone bridges, and arched gateways. Ma Bing often invites women and cats into the world he creates on canvas, endowing them with metaphorical meaning.
As the famous Chinese critique, Li Xianting, aptly states, Ma Bing’s paintings have a suspended mood, drifting along a deep corridor between the ancient past and modern society; the Forbidden City, Shichahai’s Silver Ingot Bridge and ancient drum towers that have been preserved and are now part of the modern landscape. Ma Bing’s feelings are like the scenes he paints; the cat that walks along the enclosed moat, the person falling into Houhai Lake, and the cat under the pedicab’s tires… between real and imagined history, like the suspense of a scene in which one thing happens after another.
Ma Bing was born in Hebei Province, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art and his Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. Over the past six years, Ma Bing has lived in both New York and Beijing. His art has been exhibited numerous times throughout museums in Beijing including the National Art Museum of China, the Today Art Museum, and the China Military Museum.