"My work is like a vignette of another world, another dimension. I have always incorporated three main themes in my art: rendering of negative space; patterning; putting order on chaos. Using this vocabulary, I create mixed media works on paper, canvas and wood. It wasn't until recently that I really understood why.
Although I am trained in Western art methods and history, my work is unmistakably informed by my Asian roots. Born and raised in Asia and exposed to Chinese and Japanese traditional paintings throughout my life, Eastern visuals and techniques readily appear in my work – Chinese symbols, mythology references, the application of paint, materials selection, and layering of shapes and overlapping forms to create distance and depth.
Often my focus is on painting the background, or negative space, not the foreground. I attempt to organize abstraction, or chaos. My forms seem to float in space, but through their placement, I am creating balance. By patterning and by the rendering negative space around the forms, I somehow encapsulate them. I am creating forms in specific reference to their placement, depth and spatial relations to one another. Viewers might ask themselves: what is the form and what is the ground? This is at times intentionally ambiguous. I tend to vacillate between both dimensions. My search for balance within the painting's own depth, surface and vertical-horizontal orientation may come from my search for my own placement in this world: geographically, socially, ethnically, culturally, in space and time.”
Born and raised in Hong Kong, of Eurasian heritage, Maria Lobo's art training took her to Italy, Spain and the USA. Studying at the University of Santa Clara and the San Francisco Art Institute, she gained degrees in Fine Art and Painting in 1985. Maria returned to Hong Kong in 1994, having been part of the San Francisco Hunters Point Artists' Community. A decade later, Maria returned to North America and currently resides in San Francisco. She exhibits internationally.