Jennifer Wen Ma (b1973, Beijing) works across a variety of media, including installation, video, drawing, performance, public art and fashion design. Chosen from more than 500 applicants, she was one of the seven members of the core creative team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as well as the chief designer for visual and special effects. Last year, her opera Paradise Interrupted,with composer Huang Ruo, premiered at the Spoleto Festival USA following a special preview at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Many of her works take landscape or nature as their subject matter and her new site-specific commission, Molar, for the group exhibition of 16 Chinese sculptors, A Beautiful Disorder, at the Cass Sculpture Foundation, offers a place of reflection in a disintegrating utopia, where beauty and destruction cohabit, and inspiration can be drawn from the diseased as well as the prosperous.
Wen Ma talks to Studio International about her new work and her wider practice, now split between Beijing and New York.
Studio International also spoke to the Cass Sculpture Foundation’s curatorial director, Claire Shea, about the concepts behind this first international group exhibition and the global success of this young generation of Chinese artists.
A Beautiful Disorder
Cass Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex
3 July – 6 November 2016
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Book review: One Thousand Drawings by Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin: Those Who Suffer Love was shown at White Cube Gallery, London earlier this year (29 May
The Arthur M Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology, Peking University, China
Arthur M Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology at Peking University – From the time of his first visit to China in 1976, Dr Arthur M Sackler had expressed a deep interest in helping the archaeologists and art historians of that country in their efforts to conserve the rich heritage of their ancient culture.
Victor Willing, letter to Studio International, 1980
Opting out of the rat race, Victor Willing had tried 'to make some silence' around himself, and proceeded to listen.
Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
Established in 1928, the China Academy of Art is the first comprehensive art academy in China committed to integrating eastern and western art in its curriculum, while creating contemporary art according to the principles of Chinese culture. The new Xiangshan campus, located in the outskirts of Hangzhou, marks another chapter in the development of the school towards a 21st-century educational model.
Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945) has, in many ways, been forgotten outside of Paris, and to those who have studied his work, he is often described as a relatively unimportant architect in comparison with Le Corbusier and other modernists. At the Pompidou Centre, in summer 2005, his work was resurrected from the dust and given the platform to be criticised afresh. Sixty years after his death at the end of World War Two, he has finally been given a wider audience.