Simon Ma „Ink ∙ Brush ∙ Heart – Xishuangbanna” @ Venice Art Biennale 2013
Collateral Event of the 55th International Art Exhibition –
La Biennale di Venezia
Artist: Simon Ma
Invited Artist: Julian Lennon
Organizers: China International Cooperation Center,
Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai
Curator: Achille Bonito Oliva
Co-Curator: Paolo De Grandis
Coordinator in Venice: Carlotta Scarpa, PDG Arte Communications
Venue: Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, Palazzo Pisani, San Marco 2810
Following last year’s success of “Drago+Cavallo Soul World Tour Exhibition” this year, the Chinese artist Simon Ma will be presented by China International Cooperation Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai to participate at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Every part of Simon Ma’s exhibition finds its inspiration in the rainforest of Xishuangbanna, an autonomous prefecture in Yunnan Province, located in the far southwest of China. The entire concept for this installation started with one simple thought: while the colours of our daily environment fade everyday more towards grey, the colours of untouched nature are always vital and bright. How does nature protect his palette of colours? How can we protect the colours of life around us?
Xishuangbanna’s high trees have extremely deep roots that allow them to grow up to 90 meters high. In the same way our society, in order to reach higher needs to go deeper and hold on to its own traditions. After years of cross border artistic collaboration with international brands, this Chinese artist felt the need to go back to his Chinese heritage. By watching the ritual dance in the water during the water festival in Xishuangbanna, Simon Ma was inspired for his exhibition documented in a short film.
In his continuous research for balance between humankind and nature, new and old, painting and calligraphy, the artist has dramatically transformed the two courtyards of Palazzo Pisani to host an installation of 6 stainless steel “Water drops” sculptures, surrounded by hundreds of water drops balloons of six different colours. The tallest sculpture is 6.1 meters high, while the
shortest is 1.8 meters. Each stainless steel water drop carries inside the sound of water flows, to remind us of the purity of this element.
At the first floor the collaboration between the Chinese artist and Julian Lennon with his visual art is exhibited. The two artists’ love for nature is reflected in an unique technical experiment of crossover between two different genres of art, where photography and painting come together to represent their interpretation of nature.
In the hall of the first noble floor two fine handcrafted jewellery sculptures are exhibited, Harmony and Embrace, results of the collaboration between Chow Tai Fook, a renowned jewellery company from Hong Kong and Simon Ma to create the perfect combination of exquisite craftsmanship and profound culture. Since Simon will launch a jewellery collection with Chow Tai Fook, Harmony and Embrace are the prelude of the collaboration.
The two precious artworks are surrounded by Chinese paintings, one representing the combination of “Dragon+Horse” symbolizing the dialogue between a dragon and a horse, two different cultures, and six paintings representing the yin and yang combination of “Dragon+Peacock”. In Chinese culture the peacock with its tail of 100 eyes is considered as a manifestation of the heavenly Phoenix on earth. Moreover,in the tradition of Feng Shui it is indicated as the celestial animal of the south of China, representing power and beauty. Thus, the artist created a pair of black and white dragon peacock, representing the uncontaminated nature against the dark side of nature, powerful and at the same time dangerous if not respected. These two paintings in opposition one to another in their struggle between the bright and dark side of nature, will eventually complete each other into a harmonious duet.
Photo: © Modernism.ro