First Stop Is Miami for U.S. Premiere of Simon Ma's New World Tour Exhibit HEART WATER INK Today
Chinese crossover artist Simon Ma's new world tour exhibition "Heart • Water • Ink" makes its U.S. premiere in Miami today, July 12 - Oct. 19 at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University. A tribute to Chinese master artist Xu Beihong, the exhibition is curated by Dr. Carol Damian, Director and Chief Curator of The Frost Art Museum.
The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, July 12, 5:00-8:00 p.m., featuring live freehand brushwork demonstrations by Mr. Ma. This new show follows the success of Ma's previous world tours ("Ink • Brush • Heart," shown at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and "The Soul - Drago + Cavallo") with a return to his preferred subject of nature and his reverence of its power and majesty.
"Heart • Water • Ink" features more than 70 artworks including Ma's paintings, freehand brushwork, Chinese ink hybrids, graffiti art, Chinese calligraphy sculptures, dimensional stroke and lacquer paintings, 3-D art video, projections, Murano glass, and large-scale dragon and horse sculptures.
As part of the Miami leg of this world tour, Ma will present a seminar about Chinese water ink that will be open to the public and students. The exhibition also will feature an equine-themed short film "China Dream," an homage to Master Xu Beihong (broadcast on National Geographic and Discovery), plus an equine-themed jewelry collection co-created with Chow Tai Fook.
The spirit of the horse inspires this exhibition. In Chinese, the name Ma (the artist's last name) means horse and the year 2014 marks the Chinese year of the horse.
Internationally renowned as a 21st century inheritor of the ancient traditions, Simon Ma looks up to the experience of the Chinese Master Xu Beihong and follows in his footsteps by creating an exhibition that unites the past and the present.
The main masterpiece of the show is the large-scale sculpture "Ren Ma" (Benevolent Horse).
Different materials from nature reflect various personalities and characteristics of Simon's horses. Inspired by Xu's artistic notion of the benevolent horse, large-scale horse sculptures modeled after the Chinese character of horse (?) will anchor this exhibition. Benevolence is a central theme for Ma's show, via the Confucian concept of Rén (?), a virtue denoting mutual respect, help and love among mankind.
The exhibition's theme is the artist's new principle of "Rén Ma" (a kindhearted creature showing the benevolence of the horse and of nature, encouraging mankind to learn this quality).
"The horse is loyal and brave, diligent and determined, humble and kind-hearted," says Simon Ma.
"The benevolent horse will bring back to people the spiritual strength and energy they have been losing. Just as Watermoistens and seeps into things, 'Ren Ma' will gently enter people's hearts and purify every man," adds Ma.
For centuries, Chinese artists have used ink and calligraphy to connect to the worlds of tradition, poetry, ritual, emotions and intellect.
Ma uses these traditions boldly in his unique creative process for his drawings, paintings, sculpture and design, and extending beyond - to his passion for music.
"I want to show that in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it is still possible to possess a pure spirit and to seek a balance point from which to conduct our lives," adds Ma. "Heart becomes a new way of creation, from the deepest part of the soul. Brush is a companion, and Ink becomes the language that the Heartcommunicates to harmonize people and their essence. When Heart comes together with the Chinese Qi and spirit, the artist can reach the perfect condition for his creation."
"Simon Ma has taken the awesome figure of the Chinese Dragon, the iconic symbol of the people of China, to invigorate the image of the horse in a variety of media, arrangements and defining postures," said Dr. Carol Damian. "The horse transcends time to become a key element of his work and a new symbol of nature for Ma."
"The horses in "Heart • Water • Ink" cavort in a race through time, as they have for centuries throughout the world," says Dr. Carol Damian.
"Through my horses, I hope viewers will experience the beauty, courage and strength of the Chinese people. My new world tour is greatly inspired by the late Chinese Master Xu Beihong, who is remembered for creating new national art by combining nature and realism, uniting traditional Chinese with Western painting styles," said Simon Ma.
"The Frost Art Museum is proud to welcome the gifted artist Simon Ma and his extraordinary work to their American museum debut," adds Dr. Carol Damian. "As a product of China's remarkable economic and political transformation, Ma openly appropriates, adapts, and re-invents himself - while maintaining respect for his rich cultural heritage. His contemporary works employ the same dynamic and emotionally charged process in the Chinese traditional ritualistic and complex application of ink and paint."