Listening, ceramic, glaze, 4x4x2 in
Weather It, ceramic, glaze, 12” x 6” x 4.5”
Give A Little, ceramic, glaze, 8” x 6” x 5”
Cave In, ceramic, glaze, 13.5” x 7” x 7”, SOLD
At Arms Length, ceramic, glaze, 9” x 7” x 4.5”, SOLD
Calvin Ma is a ceramic sculptor living and working in San Francisco. His work juxtaposes social anxieties with childhood play in his ceramic figures. Referencing toys and action figures of his youth, he enjoys reconnecting with his inner child to create works that weave playful and imaginative tales that examine the role of toys not only as art, but also mechanisms to cope with social anxiety.
Ma’s latest series, Blend In, touches on his struggles fitting in socially. The underlying theme of the series has his figures attempting to blend in to their natural environments, but never fully able to do so. Each piece focuses on a particular segment of this theme in it’s own unique way.
"I utilize the action figure form in my sculptural work to explore personal issues and struggles with social anxiety. As an adult, I face difficulties in the social environment. Meeting new people, being in the company of strangers, crowds, peers and intermittently among friends and family brings about a heightened nervousness that takes over and impedes my ability to function socially. Even as a child I was reserved and apprehensive, so I turned to toys to keep me entertained. I believe the tactile activity of playing with them coupled with my active imagination helped establish this passion for the action figure early on. There was something about picking up your favorite hero or villain and creating stories and adventures that captivated me. It felt only natural to tap into this childlike sense of exploration and storytelling through my artwork." -Calvin ma