Ma Qiusha: Tales of White Nights

2019. 09. 24-11. 09

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce that, Ma Qiusha’s sixth solo exhibition “Tales of White Nights” will open on September 24. The show will present the artist’s latest works, and run until November 9, 2019.

The exhibition is comprised of three works, Gift (2018-2019), Yosemite (2019), and White Night (2019), respectively. As a symbol of modern lifestyle, cars remain a recurring theme in Ma Qiusha’s recent creations. A discarded second-hand turned installation, Gift is the starting point for this show. It connects the wall installation Yosemite and the multichannel video White Night. Ma’s exploration of the current car culture in China has led her to re-inject the individual experience into the social transformation context. In “Tales of White Nights”, private cars, devoid of consumption function, try to open up a new route to Utopia for our modern life ever more bound by ennui.

Gift remodeled off a polished Chery “QQ”. Known for its ingenious design and affordable price, this model was once the most popular private vehicle in the 2000s. The car has changed hands several times and its mechanical reparts have gone beyond repair. Considered a “useless piece” in an era of consumerism, it was purchased by the artist’s husband, who gave it to Ma Qiusha as a gift. They remodeled the car with dedication, bestowing the vehicle a new sense of mission and meaning after its former life as private vehicle that disconnected people from contact with the outside world terminated. While the car remains the neutral position in the center of the room, the audience is invited to step upon gas and start the engine, experiencing the loud rooming that sounds like the declaration of recarnation.

The head of the car faces the left wall, where hundreds of images the artist took of the tarred high ways altogether constitute Yosemite. This “highway”, descending from above, opens up the exhibition space yet again. Two yellow LED signs that frequent the streets in China replace the double yellow lines and hang in the center of the wall. The ravings flashing through come from an excerpt of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ Tristes Tropiques that the artist cherishes regarding the discussion between the universe and human race, memory and consciousness, time and space, and etc. Endless texts rise up and ebb away against the tedious backdrop of the road.

The adjacent room to the right houses the 5-channel video piece White Night. Screens of different sizes scatter throughout the space, all placed slightly below eye level. Immersed in sensational music, the lens glides between the cliffs closely over the sea.The polar region’s vast lands surround the audience, as if this no man’s land is close at hand. These silimar scenes actually come from two ends of the planet—North Pole and South Pole, inside which the day lasts 24 hours during Midnight Sun. Time and space expand towards multi-dimensions, sliding into infinity.

Ma Qiusha (b. 1982) received her BA in Digital Media Art from China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2005 and MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University, New York in 2008. She currently lives and works in Beijing. Her solo exhibitions were held at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK (2018); OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Xi’an, China (2018); Beijing Commune, Beijing (2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009); Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester (2013); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011); Taking Space, Beijing (2010, 2007), and etc. Ma Qiusha’s art have been shown at institutions including Daimler Contemporary (Berlin); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles); Tai Kwun Contemporary (Hong Kong); Smart Museum of Art (Chicago); A4 Art Museum, (Chengdu, China); Power Station of Art (Shanghai); Beijing Minsheng Art Museum (Beijing); chi K11 Art Museum (Shanghai); Para Site (Hong Kong); Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe); Tate Modern Museum (London); Orange County Museum of Art (Orange County, US); Borusan Contemporary (Istanbul); Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, US); Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, US); International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York); Groningen Museum (Groningen, the Netherlands); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Houston, US); Central Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum (Beijing); National Art Museum of China (Beijing); International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York); Internation Contemporary Art Foundation (Bergen); Stavanger Art Museum (Norway) and more. She was nominated for Prosche “Young Chinese Artsists” (2019), the Pierre Huber Prize (2014) and “Young Artist of the Year” by Award of Art China (AAC) in 2017 and 2013.