Black Beauty: A Living Totem
700 live plants, 200 kg of Chinese ink, steel structure
Vancouver Art Gallery
November 15, 2014 - April 6, 2015
Black Beauty: A Living Totem is large-scale installation composed of more than 700 live plants, mostly native to Canada’s West Coast, is painted completely black with Chinese ink. Erected in the oculus of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s rotunda, the plants continue to grow as green buds sprout from the blackness. The site-specific work is a dialogue between the past and present, in which Ma pays homage to the legacy of ink painting by emphasizing time as an element of the composition: viewers observe the live installation transform over the duration of the exhibition.