Description: Cay, 2004 Acrylic on canvas 130 x 89 cm
Artist or Maker: MA Desheng (Chinese, b. 1952)
Literature: In 1979, Ma Desheng, then aged twenty-six, linked up with twenty odd young artists, including Huang Rui, Ai Wei Wei, Li Shuang, Wang Keping, to form the "Xingxing (Star) Group", to advocate free thinking and free art creation. They staged street demonstrations in Beijing to pronounce their belief. This avant-garde movement has a unique status in the development of contemporary Chinese art, it opened a new era and inspired the changes that followed in the next thirty years. The wood prints created by Ma Desheng from 1979 to early 1980s is a statement of the core spirit of this movement: art has its own self-contained world, it is not a tool for political propaganda or anything else. However, under various kinds of pressure, members of the "Star Group" migrated overseas soon after. Ma Desheng arrived at Switzerland in 1985 and then settled down in Paris ever since. His works are held in public and private collections around the world, including The British Museum, London, Museum Cernuschi, Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, l'Association du Museum d'Art Contemporaine de Chamalières, France, Museum of Oxford, London, Museum de Melun, France, Asian Art Museum, Nice, Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong.
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