MA JIA at GEZWANZIG, Vienna / Austria

Ma Jia / Yesterday

17 January - 6 March 2024

Gumperdorferstrasse 20
1060 Wien

Ma Jia was born in 1981 in China, she currently lives and works between Vienna & Beijing.
Ma Jia is primarily known for her massive metal sculptures, exhibited in both galleries and public spaces. She utilizes found industrial objects and metal pipes in her work. Since 2020, her focus has shifted to pipes from gas and oil pipelines. Although these works predate the war in Ukraine, the materials have gained additional significance as natural gas prices rise and the conflict persists. These appropriated materials, marked by cuts, welds, and graphic notations, imbue her sculptures with layers of cultural meaning. Ma Jia studied painting in Hangzhou and Beijing before entering the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Heimo Zobernig. Originally a figurative painter, her work has evolved in recent years, incorporating more sculptural elements and marking a significant shift in her approach to painting. Some of her recent paintings utilize rolls of unstretched industrial fabrics. Ma Jia has developed a unique ‘stamping’ method, by pressing the
paint onto the fabric without a paintbrush, giving them the appearance of mass-produced works. This technique of pressing colour onto the fabric's surface connects with traditional Chinese woodblock stamps used for signatures and modern industrialized printing processes common in contemporary and modern art. Ma Jia’s methodology fuses abstract painting language with industrial materials. Often, she employs found objects, rusted metal plates with indexical traces of weld marks, Cyrillic notations and PVC fabrics, replacing the traditional brush and canvas. The geometric forms found in her work parallel the traditional
Chinese Wuxia literary style, which embodies the concept of "to have is to have nothing; to have nothing is to have." As Ma Jia states, “When the words are filtered out, it becomes the empty hollow cut geometry that generates meaning.”For her exhibition at Gezwanzig, Ma Jia has created a new edition of prints which utilize the same ‘stamping’ method that she uses in her most recent paintings.