Venice Biennale, MOCA Shanghai, Amsterdam's Leslie Smith Gallery, Taiwan's Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and more. His name is Simon Ma and with his current exhibition making a U.S. debut (July 12 - October 19) I tried to catch up with him to learn a little more about what's behind his passion. The work itself, as you can see here, is quite striking.
Simon Ma has quite a resume. He's worked with Julian Lennon, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, among others. He was appointed by the United Nations as a Cultural Ambassador and The Shanghai Tatler named Simon Ma "Crossover Artist of 2013"... plus sohu.com named him "Designer of the Year."
EN: How did growing up in Hong Kong shape your life and art?
Simon Ma: I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in the U.K. I started painting at 7 and began making music at 11. I was 13 years old when I left to live in the U.K. Chinese and western thinking and the methods of painting were things that I learned. Fusion and mix is something I was born with.
EN: How did you go from being a Chinese artist to showing your work internationally?
SM: I am a very hard worker. Many people in Hong Kong can't make art although some of the most famous artists are from China. What I believe is to let your art work and talk to people. Passion and purity are very important principles to me. My background and understanding of both cultures was very helpful in my getting into the Venice show.
EN: What is a “Crossover Artist”?
SM: Unlimited thinking and work. We are exploring (art aspect) new ways and new elements of expressing life. Nowadays we have too much information, technology and pollution etc… I think balance is a very deep and hard way of learning this. Yin and Yang from Chinese history is about balance.
EN: How do you view your work in the context of current philosophical trends?
SM: My philosophy for the Venice Biennale was about love and nature. 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse. My new show, the horse show, is about giving love to people. The whole world needs more peace and we need to slow down everything. We are all running too fast. I really hope the world can use my REN horses. I really want to pass on love throughout the world. Artists have social responsibilities, too, and that is what I would like to do. We should be more happy, or rather, not frightened in facing problems and pass on the right positive energy to the younger generation.
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I think you will agree that the young Mr. Ma is doing impressive work and will be someone to watch in the future. Click on the images to enlarge.
For more information about The Frost Museum of Art visit thefrost.fiu.edu/
Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it!