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Calvin Ma utilizes a recurring figure in his sculptural work to explore personal struggles with social anxiety and where we find solace. Ma has shared that he has faced difficulties in the social environment, often feeling heightened nervousness or anxiety in groups. Finding refuge early on in playing with action figures, Ma’s sculptures are imbued with a sense of childlike exploration and storytelling. His newest body of work beautifully depicts the recognizable figure we see throughout his sculptures, this time as birds in a variety of postures. His characteristically stunning highly-detailed work here showcases his skill through the bright feathers and rich surface details of each form.
First Step is part of Calvin Ma's body of work from his 2020 exhibition, Blend In: Making Home. Says the artist, this series "revolves around this anthropomorphic bird-like figure that is constantly trying to fit into its environment; [in an effort] to be comfortable with who I am. Being shy, timid, and a bit socially awkward is something that will always be a part of me. The goal is to come to terms with it and grow from it."