Ma Qiusha was born in 1982 and currently lives and works in Beijing, China. Ma Qiusha’s work reflects a special sensitivity with ordinary everyday objects and materials. She carefully re-stages them in unfamiliar environments to tell a story or express suppressed emotions. Mainly working with video and painting, at first glance her work is calm and expressionless but upon closer inspection or time with the work, deeper stories and symbols emerge which reflect personal memories and emotions to family and identity as well as wider topics around historical, political, social and economic transitions Chinese Society has gone through in the course of the 21st century.
For the Tall Tales programme Ma Quisha will be showcasing two distinct and pivotal works:
‘Rainbow’ is a one shot high-definition video work, which present to the viewers a dream like scene: three girls in a typical figure skating costume appear to be circling the camera, hand in hand. The film slowly reveals the girls are striving to mash tomatoes under their boots, causing a splash of fruit into nearby glass vessels – every sense and splash amplified by the use of HD recording, creating an immersive relationship between the audience and the figures. The work plays homage to the ring-a-ring-o’rose nursery rhyme and the chromatic contrast between the use of red and white in the piece, echoes an all too familiar play of against good and evil, fight or flight in storytelling.
‘Two Years Younger Than Me’ presents a series of curious found objects by the artist’s late Grandfather and represents a new found understanding the artist had for her relative once she discovered these objects.
Ma Qiusha explains “My Grandad is the only elderly family member who have ever argues with me. Unlike most his age, he never spoiled his grandkids. My Grandad was an only child, just like me, and that’s why he was kind of weird. I remember clearly his odd, but always serious manner. He would keep his beard hair in a pill pottle and lock all the bottles up away. It was only after he passed away that I found these bottles in a pile of his personal belongings, which were going to be thrown away. Since 1984 he had used a pill bottle each year to save all his removed beard hairs from the last 12 months. I counted the bottle, 27 in total and exactly ‘two years younger than me”.
Image Credits: Top Right – Still from Rainbow, Single Channel Video 2013, Bottom Image – Two Years Younger than Me, medicine bottle, beard clippings, 2011 Copyright Ma Qiusha