Eight Views of Paradise Interrupted
Ink, paint, acrylic panels, hand-cut Japanese paper garden
Eight Views of Paradise Interrupted is the newest result of Jennifer Wen Ma's decade-long exploration into Chinese ink. The exhibition title makes reference to teh long tradition of the literati painting trope, "Eight Views of Xiao Xiang." As far back as the Song Dynasty, literati artists created albums of eight panted views of the region of Xiao Xiang, and later of other locales, to convey their disappointment and disillusionment with the government after official or self-imposed exile, and to express their yearning to be one with nature.
This exhibition borrows the "eight views" structure to investigate key moments, dramatic punctuations, and influences in the making of the installation opera Paradise Interrupted, which was conceived, visually designed, and directed by Jennifer Wen Ma.
The work consists of a panoramic painting on acrylic glass, executed in ink and paint. Fluid in places and figurative and detailed in others, the painting creates a narrative that can be read in either direction. In the center of the room, the "eighth view," is a lush and expansive black garden made from hand-cut Japanese paper.