home sign Sydney contact facebook canvas oil home sign

Marc Standing

Zimbabwe 1976

Painting, Collage


Marc Standing
Marc Standing
February 23, 2016
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Augustine of Hippo once said that the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. Well, the artist Marc Standing is on his way to becoming a well-read man. Born in Zimbabwe, lived in Europe and Australia – he settled down in Hong Kong. For the moment. This white African globetrotter creates art on the roots of his life events. A tireless search for a personal identity is what Marc developed in time, due to his often moving and the mild feeling of non-affiliation he got from all the places he lived in: being a white African didn’t help. In Europe, even though his father is British and he has a passport, Marc didn’t feel European. In Sydney – he didn’t feel Australian, so the search continued.

Marc Standing - Skullface and a Figurine 2, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery
Marc Standing – Skullface and a Figurine 2, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery

The Afflatus of the African and Central American Traditional Art

Marc graduated from the University of Cape town, South Africa, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Honors Degree in 1999. Reconnecting to the African heritage and its traditions has always been present in Standing’s artistic creation. When he discovered the technique of papier-mâché, space in his work has been made for the Central American traditional art. Embroidery, masks, weaving, and ceramics are just amongst some traditional handicrafts he was fascinated with, and he incorporated into his artistic expression.
Before Marc Standing moved to Hong Kong, his art was filled with dark colors – faces and figures Marc created seemed a bit scary and sometimes morbid even.

Marc Standing inspired by the Hong Kong’s Mix of Culture

A significant change of mood happened when Marc moved to Hong Kong – a Fragrant Harbour where East meets West. Its mix of cultures soothed Marc and his identity search, as well. Inspired and unburdened by his personal heritage history, he began to enjoy bold Asian colors, including them into his art pieces.

The color Renaissance in Marc’s artworks happened in Hong Kong

Marc Standing - The Gatherers and Wildings, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery
Marc Standing – The Gatherers and Wildings, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery

Marc’s bird is one of the elements that lived through some sort of color Renaissance in Hong Kong. He has been using bird imagery since the start of his career, intrigued by the connection they create between the spiritual and the earthly world. Seen as omens in many cultures, birds found their place in Marc’s eclectic mythology.

The Eternal Return Exhibition at The Cat Street Gallery

Standing has been exhibiting throughout the Australia, US, UK, Holland, Hong Kong, South Africa… He has been nominated for some major Australian art prizes and the Sovereign Asian Art Prize. One of his most recent projects is his March 2016 exhibition at The Cat Street Gallery. The show is titled The Eternal Return, and it was carried out as some sort of reflect upon the artist’s life and travels, through the symbolism of the mask.

Masks and figurines allow shamanic metamorphosis, but also an identity hide

Marc Standing - The Figurines 10, 11, and 7, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery
Marc Standing – The Figurines 10, 11, and 7, 2015, image courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery

The mask supports the idea of transformation – a shamanic metamorphosis that allows the communication with the higher power. The other side of this ritual and its meaning has been explored by Marc: the ability to stay anonymous and to reject/hide its own identity. Inspired by both African and Mexican imagery, Marc was running from any similarity to it, wanting to express his own sensibility and aesthetics.

Marc Standing’s Quest for Personal and Cultural Identity as an Artistic Base

Marc Standing is a perfect example of the impact that cultural identity and its acceptance create in a person. That ancient desire to belong somewhere and to be content with it is staggering in modern society where traveling and moving around has somehow become a routine. To portion the external influences and a personal heritage seems more difficult each day, as the information tide just keeps growing. Marc Standing tries to manage and keep in order what comes from the inside with what is experienced: by balancing light and dark, comfort and discomfort.

This artist is represented by The Cat Street Gallery.

Marc Standing lives and works in Hong Kong.

Featured image copyrights © Celeste Prize
Artwork images courtesy of The Cat Street Gallery

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016The Eternal ReturnnThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2016TeleportationArt Labor, ShanghaiGroup
2015The Shadow MenKing Street Gallery, Sydney, AustraliaSolo
2015Sydney Contemporary Art FairGlennfiddich Stand, Sydney, Australia.Group
2015New York Now 15New York, USAGroup
2015Art Index FairFitch Art Alliance, Mumbai, India.Group
2015Think Pink Auction for Breast Cancer AwarenessMandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.Group
2015Signal 8The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2014Human Rights Art PrizeSundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2014Art TaipeiThe Cat Street Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.Group
2014Platform for Emerging ArtistsLeyden Gallery, London.Group
2014Dreaming in ColourArt Labor, Shanghai, China.Group
2014Waterhouse Natural Science Art PrizeMuseum of South Australia, Adelaide.Group
2014Redlands Konica Minolta Art PrizeNational Art School, Sydney, Australia.Group
2014Signal 8The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2014Op Smile Fundraiser AuctionThe Space, Hong Kong.Group
2014Art AthinaAnna Pappas Gallery, Athens, Greece.Group
2014Affordable Art FairThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2014The MysticsThe Cat Street Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2013The PhosphorescenceKing Street Gallery, Sydney, AustraliaSolo
2013The Duchess of AvonTrink Tank Tank, Melbourne, AustraliaSolo
2013Lost WondersAnna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne,AustraliaSolo
2013Asia Arts Fundraiser AuctionChristie’s, Hong Kong.Group
2013Clayton Utz Art AwardClayton Utz, Brisbane, Australia.Group
2013Signal 8Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2013Art AthinaAnna Pappas Gallery, Athens, Greece.Group
2013Wonder WorksThe Space, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2013Soveverign Asian Art PrizeFinalist, Singapore and Hong Kong.Group
2013Sovereign Asian Art PrizeEspace Louis Vuitton, Singapore.Group
2013Affordable Art FairCat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2013Project 13, Jamais VuAnna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.Group
2013Looking ForwardKing Street Gallery, Sydney, Australia.Group
2013The Sex IssueProject30, www.project30.comGroup
2012A Verdant HeartKing Street Gallery, Sydney, Australia.Group
2012Signal 8:STORMCat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.Group
2012Work on PaperJeffrey Leder Gallery, New York, United States.Group
2012Lightbombs Pop Up ExhibitionArt East Island, Hong Kong.Group
2012International Painting NYCJeffrey Leder Gallery, New York, United States.Group
2012Five BellsDamien Minton Gallery, Sydney, Australia.Group
2012Clayton UTZ Art AwardFinalist, Brisbane, Australia.Group
2012John Fries Memorial Art PrizeFinalist, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, Australia.Group
2012Wilson Visual Arts AwardFinalist, Lismore, NSW, Australia.Group
2012Lethbridge Art AwardFinalist, Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.Group
2012Urban CreaturesFinalist, Toyota Emerging Art Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.Group
2012Year in ReviewFinalist, online.Group
2011Body LanguageBrenda May Gallery, Sydney.Group
2011LA Art ShowSkotia Gallery, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, United States.Group
2011Vista Wellington Art FairSouth Coast Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington, New Zealand.Group
2011Art Takes MiamiFinalist, online.Group
2011Waking Me ForeverBrenda May Gallery, SydneySolo
2009Terra Australis IncognitaBrenda May Gallery, SydneySolo
2009The Unknown Land of the SouthDickerson Gallery, MelbourneSolo
2010Snowballs & DiscoAmelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong.Group
2009On PaperDickerson Gallery, Melbourne.Group
2009City of Whyalla Art PrizeFinalist, Whyalla, SA.Group
2009Banyule City Works on Paper AwardFinalist, Ivanhoe, Melbourne.Group
2009Off the WallArt Melbourne 09, Melbourne.Group
2009Hazelhurst Work on Paper Art AwardFinalist, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery.Group
2009Callen Art AwardFinalist, Cowra Regional Gallery, Cowra.Group
2008Melbourne Art FairRoyal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.Group
2008Memento MoriBrenda May Gallery, Sydney.Group
2008NarrativeBrenda May Gallery, Sydney.Group
2008Birthday ShowBrenda May Gallery, Sydney.Group
2008Shelf LifeDelmar Gallery, Sydney.Group
2008Touring Blake Prize for Religious ArtUnknownGroup
2008TeraphimBrenda May Gallery, SydneySolo
2008The PlaygroundSouth Coast Gallery, Wellington, NZSolo
2007New PaintingBrenda May Gallery, SydneySolo
2007I'm as Mad as HellBrenda May Gallery, Sydney.Group
2007Art Melbourne 07Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.Group
2007Fishers Ghost Art AwardFinalist, Campeltown, NSW.Group
2007Blake Prize for Religious ArtFinalist, NAS, Sydney.Group
2007Mosman Art Prize', FinalistMosman Art Gallery, Sydney.Group
2006New BreedGlobal Gallery, Sydney.Group
2006Waking Dreams, An Australian PortraitNoosa Regional Gallery, QLD.Solo
2007Churchie Emerging Art AwardBrisbane, Queensland.Group
2007Regional Art AwardsPinnacles Gallery, Thuringowa. Raw Space Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland.Group
2004The Human WreckageGallery Wawana, Maastricht, HollandSolo
2003Artists for ZimabweGallery 27, Cork St, London.Group
2003Zimbabwe NowThe Royal Academy, The Hague, Holland.Group
2002Business As UsualUnknownGroup
2002A Post Apocalyptic IndependenceGallery Wawana, Maastricht, HollandSolo