HONG KONG.- Gallery EXIT
presents LAST YEAR, Ivy MAs third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Featuring a selection of old and never-to-be-seen new works, LAST YEAR is a further development of MAs ongoing interest in the interpretation of history and the nature of historical knowledge. Anchoring around her eponym artwork Last Year, the exhibition feeds itself on both personal encounters and gazes of current and past events from the perspective of subjects who are actively or involuntarily involved in the unfolding of historical events.
In the past five years, MA has been working largely with photographs from various sources with a vibe of past and history lingering in her practice. In her latest work Last Year, the artist shifts her engagement to the now. Borrowing the formal composition of the portraits, Last Year is a series of 40 aptly manipulated snapshots of the individuals appearing in different sites of the recent turbulent events in Hong Kong with a blend of photography and drawing. Working on the physicality of these images, MA erases large swathes of visual information, overlaying hand-drawn patterns and embellishing existing elements. Through this physical engagement, MA disrupts the images with obscurity by wiping away the hint of time on every image in an attempt to bring them back to the present.
From past events as chronicled in the work Leaving to fictional representation of historical figures as depicted in Birds, LAST YEAR speaks of the present moments perceived and felt as the already past. Between the past and the present, MA strives to transcend both and the sense of time together, intimating that every subject inherits both a present and a past reality and hitting on the question of the constitution of human history.