Jennifer Wen MaUnited States
Grants Awarded2006 | Arts, General | China
For participation in a project undertaken by Long March Foundation
In this arresting new opera by acclaimed composer Huang Ruo, traditional Chinese and contemporary Western idioms intertwine within an exquisite setting by visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma, known for her Emmy Award–winning work on the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The story entwines the tale of Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden with a dream episode from the Chinese opera “The Peony Pavilion,” in which a woman imagines an erotic encounter with an idealized lover.
Inaugurated in 1977, the annual arts festival went on a hiatus after 2012 and returned in 2014 under the baton of Festival Director Ong Keng Sen. With the mission to artistically reinvigorate and transform the festival, Ong renamed it Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). He initiated The O.P.E.N., a pre-festival of ideas to engage diverse audiences with the ideas, issues and themes of SIFA. Today, SIFA is the premier national performing arts festival managed by the Arts House Limited and commissioned by the National Arts Council. It aims to inspire through great international and Singapore artistic experiences in performance, theatre, dance and music.
Internationally acclaimed New York-based Chinese artist and ACC Fellow, Cai Guo-Qiang, curated an exhibition featuring 15 contemporary Chinese artists working across disciplines and multiple media. What About the Art? presents each artist in individual galleries, a curatorial approach exemplifying each artist's unique language and methodology and highlighting the distinctive creative pursuit of each individual participant.
Reimagining and fusing the biblical story of Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the vivid dream of Du Liniang in The Peony Pavilion, Paradise Interrupted opens with a woman alone onstage, dreaming of an erotic encounter with her ideal lover. This dream triggers a psychological journey through a surreal, interactive garden made from dynamic paper sculptures.
This kunqu opera was co-produced by the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), New York Lincoln Center and Spoleto Festival USA. Three workshops that give the audience a chance to interact with the opera's director and performers will be held in the arts center in Kaohsiung Sept. 8-10.
Grantee: Jennifer Wen Ma
Stemming out of installation opera ‘Paradise Interrupted,’ this series of new iconic work by ACC grantee Jennifer Wen Ma explores the notion of paradise and utopia. The exhibition features two newly commissioned works, two video installations and a multi-media painting installation. ACC grantee Xiaoyu Weng, Associate Curator at the Guggenheim Museum, contributes a critical essay that surveys the artist’s recent works,” says the gallery.
A co-production of National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), Spoleto Festival USA, Lincoln Center Festival and Singapore International Festival of Arts, the one-act “installation opera” Paradise Interrupted is adapted from a section of the Kunqu classic The Peony Pavilion and has gathered some of the most prominent Asian and Asian American artists working nowadays. The Emmy-awarding winner (and ACC grantee) Jennifer Wen Ma's stage design incorporates paper cutouts, Chinese watercolor, light and shadow, and multimedia installations. The result is dark, mysterious garden that leads the depth of the human heart.
Cry Joy Park—Gardens of Dark and Light investigates the history and social landscape of Charleston, a cultural capital of the American South, and an exemplar of its complex opulence and beauty. The exhibition creates an immersive, multi-sensory experience that explores the juxtaposition of utopia and dystopia. Cry Joy Park is an ongoing series of work following Paradise Interrupted, an installation opera conceived, designed, and directed by ACC alumna Jennifer Wen Ma, which made its world premiere at Spoleto Festival 2015.
Grantee: Jennifer Wen Ma