A Rebel in Time From the Stars of 1979 'til Now - Ma Desheng Ma Desheng 01 Jun,2019|10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Artist Talk and Poetry Reading: Ma Desheng

A Rebel in Time From the Stars of 1979 "til Now

1 June, 2019 (Saturday) at 3pm

10 Chancery Lane Gallery 

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the famed 1979 Stars Exhibition, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery is pleased to present a selection of celebrated French-Chinese artist Ma Desheng’s iconic stone paintings as well as his early ink paintings and woodblock prints. Born in China in 1952, Ma Desheng lives and works in France and is one of China’s most captivating artists. On June 1, HKAGA and 10 Chancery Lane Gallery will co-present a talk by Ma Desheng in conversation with Katie de Tilly. The talk will provide deep insight into Ma Desheng’s creative journey as well as first-hand accounts of a fascinating time in Chinese Art history and the artist’s pivotal role in its development.


In the late 1970s, Ma, who walked with crutches, was refused admission to art school on account of his disability and worked as an industrial draughtsman and woodblock print artist before beginning to paint with traditional Chinese ink. Ma’s early Stars Period (星星) woodblock prints of 1979-1981 publicly confronted and challenged the system. Ma says, “We wanted to express democracy and freedom. And even beauty. At the time, beauty was not fashionable.” After leaving China for Europe, Ma continued to work in ink, treading the realms of both painting and calligraphy. Ma then moved to the US where he was tragically involved in a car accident, paralyzing him from the waist down. After moving back to France he began to paint with acrylic on canvas. Working from his wheelchair, Ma began using brush extensions to paint his monumental canvases. One of Ma’s most celebrated subjects since the Stars years in China has been his stone painting series. Ma explains, “Rocks existed before humans.” Ma’s stones take on a multitude of ideas - balance and harmony alongside difficulty in movement. They feel almost human yet clumsy, light yet heavy. They express the human condition and his deep underlying philosophies.