Ma Liuming graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 1991. He followed Wang Guangyi and moved to Beijing and ultimately became part of Beijing East Village in 1993. This particular town started to earn reputation as an art district for young artists. With Ma Liuming and Zhang Huan as central figures, East Village became a center point for China’s avant-garde experimental art. They introduced performance art to Chinese society where various ideologies and preferences did not receive any respect. Especially, Ma Liuming has created an alter ego in his performances and told stories of issues of sexual ambiguity between men and women, appearance and true existence, and identity crisis. By creating a preposterous work that frankly talks about propositions of compulsive culture in China, he received full attention from all around the world.
After 2000, Ma Liuming returned to painting. His works include: series where it criticizes the identity of Chinese art by portraying an adult’s face with a child’s body together; series is a record of exploration of natural state of human body; <1/10 Second> series captures a moment in his performance onto canvas. One of his painting technique, 漏畵法, where paint is pushed from behind of mesh canvas, creating unique textures on the surface of the canvas, and with light penetrating, it creates a surreal scenery. Ma Liuming continuously asks questions targeting relationships between the past and the present, man and woman, adult and child, artist and audience, the subject and the other. His works can be seen as a mirror reflecting on the growth of Chinese contemporary art.