Darius Ma



Born in 1960, Darius Ma is a graduate of the First Institute of Art and Design. He starts his career as a graphic designer with a great passion for art. He has been participating in various exhibition and collaborating with Hong Kong and Chinese artists such as Fish King and Yu Kewei.

With “experimental Chinese ink art” as the underpinning element, Ma incorporates in his artworks concepts and techniques from the West. On one hand, Chinese ink by itself is light and transparent, but is also erratic in nature and hard to control. On the other, acrylic paint is water soluble, good for its versatility in opaqueness and capability for its users to apply multiple successive layers, which in turn adds an extra layer of richness. Under Ma's rather erratic brush stroke and the use of a “frottage” technique, the ink and acrylic paint seem to blend yet repels each other, revealing a relationship among passion, strength and speed. A strong visual effect is achieved by adding a touch of metal leaf at last. 


“Crossing The Summit Ridge” Series
This series alludes to a poem by the Chinese poet Su Shi, which translates to “Ridges in front and peaks to the side, mountains in different shapes far and wide. Of Lushan's true facade one can never know, if one stays within the mountains so.” Ma tried to merge techniques of the East and the West to portray sinuous mountain ranges and ridges. 

In Chinese ink paintings, mountains and hills are mostly drawn with outlines. However, Ma’s “Crossing The Summit Ridge” series uses ink and color washes as the groundwork. He ditched traditional rice paper and turned to using paper of a higher grammage from the U.K. By making use of the natural texture of the paper, Ma applies layers of ink and a wash of ink in his composition. He then apples acrylic paint which somehow seems to blend yet repels the ink to add richness to the painting. This process is usually repeated few times until it resulted in an effect that the artists deems good enough. Last but not least, a final touch of metal leaf to add to the complexity.