Mai Zhixiong


    Mai Zhixiong (1969 – 2004) was born in a family of mechanics and graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1994. Hans van Dijk, then director of the New Amsterdam Art Consultancy, noticed his series of abstract paintings and signed a contract to represent him; in 1998, Mai Zhixiong exhibited in the traveling group show Mondrian in China, and since then, he has struggled between his livelihood and his art.

    Mai Zhixiong’s paintings start from a fictional objective material monolith and depict a larger objective world scenario by exacerbating the unfamiliarity of the object itself and its concept of name. Typically, he uses only three colors per painting, chosen in strict accordance with the color scale used for printing. The interweaving of pencil outlines and airbrushed and hand-painted colors creates a critical state of seeming clarity and contradiction, where meaning stands still, blurs, and dissipates. Wooden molds of mechanical forms are also an important part of his creations. These molds deconstruct and reorganize the mechanical structure and the display of mechanical law, and show the abstract and rational aesthetics of the mechanical form itself in the form of art. Mai’s works seem to foretell and preview the reproducibility of artworks, and thus question the meaning and value of thought, practice, and art itself.


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