de Sarthe Gallery is pleased to announce Ma Sibo’s first solo exhibition at the Beijing gallery, Habitat opening on October 15th. The exhibition features a new body of work and will continue through November 27th.
Ma Sibo’s trained hand is most well known for imbuing desolated and lifeless environments with a meditative sense of romantic nostalgia. His use of a technique similar to sfumato, where shapes and colors merge together, allow for his canvases to radiate an entrapping energy.
In his newest series of work, Ma Sibo departs from portraying desolated scenes by adding various animals into his paintings. Through this addition, he initiates a conversation about life and the environments in which we live. For example, the egrets in Shore (2016) appear to be filled with a dynamic energy until one realises the birds are taxidermy and staged in an empty museum. The strange dialogue between setting and subject matter within the radiating canvas posits an existential question about idyllic, yet artificially constructed, life within temporary walls. This notion is reinforced in the only painting in the show that focuses on a human subject, Night Worker (2016). Here, a man stands motionless gazing at a barren, ill-managed landscape, his energy as forlorn as the frozen birds in the museum. The man stands outside of any walls, but still seems trapped by the space surrounding him.