If We Delete Green, If We Start Caring About Plants

DATE: 2022.01.26 - 2022.03.09
ARTIST: Ma Haijiao

Ma Haijiao’s works are often expressions based on his personal observation after a long-term attention to a certain topic. His recent works focus on impacts of urban development that can be felt in our living environment, from a more collective perspective such as city architecture, environmental issues to more personal angles such as family life, and individual living condition. His most well-known works include: Mr. Quan (Ongoing), a collection of films resulting from a continuous documentation of Mr. Quan who suffered from mental deficiency; and others such as Invisible Shores (2019), Happy Valley (2018-2019), I Came of Age Without the Berlin Wall (2018), resulting from the artist’s research into the socio-cultural fabrics of Vladivostok, Hong Kong and Berlin during his residencies and travels.

For this exhibition, the artist turned his tentacles to the meaning of a colour. If We Delete Green, If We Start Caring About Plants takes "green" and "plant" as dual themes to unfold interweaving imaginations and narratives. The two channels of the video were respectively shot in a studio and a tropical jungle, presenting an intertextual relationship in terms of concept and presentation of "green" and "plants".

Green as a colour bears the least similarity to humans’ skin colours, making the green screen an ideal application in film production. Plants are born in nature independent of human. In this sense, green is also a signification of the colour of plants, further imbued with social significance. The artist deliberately blurs the boundaries between the ideas of "green" and "plant" in his thinking, exploring meanings of these paired concepts such as "artificial and natural", "reality and camouflage" and "signification and symbol" in the video.