Happy Valley

DATE: 2018.03.24 - 2018.04.29
ARTIST: Ma Haijiao

Tabula Rasa Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Ma Haijiao: “Happy Valley” on Mar. 24th, 2018. This is Ma Haijiao's first solo exhibition in China. It will showcase his works in the past five years, and will include his long-term video project "Landscape Project". The exhibition will continue until Apr. 29th, 2018.

Ma Haijiao (b.1990) is an artist as well as poet, who writes poems with the images. He specializes in observing the people and landscape around, and has a strong sensitivity toward the poetic features, which he can always give the elucidation beyond sensibility. The long-term project "Landscape Project" , which started from 2014, is one of the representatives. It was based on the footages which he had taken during his traveling, then he filmed the dramatical clips of figures at studio and juxtaposed the impromptu footages of landscapes with the restaged clips to finalize the exhibition form.

"Happy Valley" is the third work of the "Landscape Project", it will showcased for the first time in the exhibition. The work was based on the clips taken by the artist in Hong Kong in 2015. As a typical modern city, Hong Kong is filled with high-density population and buildings; the flow of people, their faces and identifies, as well as the reflections of urban landscapes with the glass walls of surrounding buildings, all had become the "scenic objects" in the artist's eyes. Through his personal experience, the artist attempted to address the existence of people in a modern city in the ways of "documentary interview" and "video collage".

The second piece of "Landscape Project" which named "A Dream tells a Lie, a Lie tells a Dream" will also be showcased in the show. Based on the footages of landscapes he filmed in Norway in 2014, the artist narrated the imagery of "landscapes in memory", "lie and truth", "dream and reality" by spatially overlaying. The landscapes out of the windows, just like many long film scenes, playing quietly. A man starting to relive his life in the interior space, the space-time interstice of his movement became a reason to fabricate a lie. The companying lines were taken from the Japanese novel Norwegian Forest.

The piece "Hope, Hope, I am Almost Frozen", which was finished in Norway in 2014, will also be included in the exhibition. The artist took out the repetitive words from three poems named "Hope", "Hope", "I am Almost Frozen", and replaced them by blank spaces. The poems are deconstructed, but formulated into images. In the work, the actors performed in sequence, showing their own personal imaginations about the extracted words, such as, "If you were a feather, how would you grow? If you were a gale, how would you exist?". In this context, the video is replenished with the blank of the poems.

About Artist

Ma Haijiao (b.1990, Hebei province, China) studied from 2009 to 2016 at the China Academy of Art, where he gained a BA and then an MFA. He now lives and works in Beijing. His art practice has an enduring concern with the daily "routine" of life, and taking this as his starting point, he traces its logic to shape video narratives and other works.

His recent exhibition include "Happy Valley" (Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, 2018); "Today's Yesterday: The 1st Anren Biennale" (Anren, Chengdu, 2017); "Message to the Future" (Canvas Contemporary Gallery, Amsterdam, 2017); "The New Normal"(Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2017); "Semantic Satiation" (Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, 2017); "Why Not Ask Again: The 11th Shanghai Biennale" (Power Station of Art,Shanghai, 2016); "Fly Without Wings" (V ART Center, Shanghai,2015).

Ma Haijiao was a finalist for the 10th Three Shadows Photography Award, he was a nominee for the A021 x PORSCHE Young Chinese Artist of the Year, 2017. His work "Mr. Quan" was collected by Power Station of Art, Shanghai.