Since childhood, I have always been fascinated with toys and action figures. Although I am not sure why I never grew out of them, I believe the tactile activity of playing with toys coupled with my active imagination helped establish this passion early on. There was something about picking up your favorite hero and creating stories and adventures that captivated me.
My work taps into this childlike sense of exploration, but is focused on a personal issue. Social anxiety reared its way into my life during adolescence and still lingers today. Byproducts of this debilitating issue include: avoidance of unfamiliar social interactions, heightened nervousness in the company of strangers, crowds, peers and intermittently among friends and family. I use art to encompass and reference the experiences developed through these symptoms in order to realize the origins of my problem and eventually overcome it.
The series I am currently working on is called, “Blending In.” The static action figure is a recurring form in my work that attempts to inhabit and become a part of its environment. The result serves as a metaphor for my struggles with social anxiety. ~Calvin Ma
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