(This book tells that Ma Liuming showed his intersex image...)
This book tells that Ma Liuming showed his intersex image in his exhibition space and invited the audience to take photos with him; then Ma Liuming took sleeping pills to fall sleep, so that the audience could take photos with him in a relaxed mood. Here shows the photos of the audience with Ma Liuming. (Chinese Edition)
马 六 明
In 1981 Ma Liuming started to study oil painting with tutor Cai Erhe. He graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 1991 (MFA) in the Oil Painting Department.
Two years later, Ma Liuming was one of the founders of Beijing East Village, an artists colony on the outskirts of Beijing. In the early 1990s it became a nexus for experimental art forms. One of Ma Liuming's first performances was called "Fen-Ma Liuming’s Lunch 1", a collaboration with Zhang Huan and Zhu Ming in 1994. He sat, completely nude, sucking a plastic tube that was attached to his penis. In 1994 Ma Liuming was arrested for a period of two months because of works like this. Many of the artists of the Beijing East Village fled in response to this police action.
In order to match his own uniquely androgynous appearance Ma Liuming developed his own performance persona – Fen-Ma Liuming, a hybrid figure of male and female components.
Fen-Ma Liuming (芬-马六明) was the name Ma Liuming gave to distinguish his performance from himself. Fen-Ma Liuming was a transgender creation with woman's face and dresses but has a man's body. The initial idea of Fen-Ma Liuming was born in the 1990s when Ma was still an undergraduate in Hubei Academy of Fine Arts. Ma used to wrap his naked body with plastic wrap while modeling for student to do the life drawing, later on, Ma considered this as his first performance.
In 1993, Ma quit his job and moved to the Beijing artists’ colony known as the East Village to start his career as a contemporary Chinese painter and pioneer of Chinese performance art. Although the living condition in the East Village was tough, Ma and his colleagues expressed their passion and creativity to contemporary art during this time period. At the end of Ma's first year in the East Village, two British visitors came to the village and had huge impact on Ma, perhaps changed the current of his life. The openly gay artistic couple, Gilbert and George, inspired Ma to turn to performance art as the main medium of his artistic expression.
One night, Ma was persuaded by his friends to wear woman's make-up and clothes. When the time Ma saw the sight of himself in the mirror, he was shocked. According to his words: I felt frightened, but also felt that I was ready for a bigger change. So I changed my clothes, and dressed in a girl's long skirt. I had the idea to create art using only make-up and my body. In 1994, Ma was arrested by police when he was doing the performance in the East Village. During the time Ma was in prison, he became famous in the Chinese contemporary art world and his work- Fen Ma Liuming was interpreted as a political symbol. After two months, Ma was released and sent back to Beijing.
This event changed Ma's performing style in a dramatic way. Before his arrest, Fen-Ma Liuming expressed the duality of pleasure with cruelness, and mercy following tragedy. But after Ma was released, the expression of the performance became the concern of the life and society, which is the unsafe and dangerous emotion he had at that time.
In 1996, Fen-Ma Liuming had its first show outside China at the 1996 Tokyo International Performance Art Festival. In a dark performance hall, Fen-Ma Liuming lit matches one by one to illuminate different parts of his body. When the theatre lights came finally came up, he presented himself fully with a woman's face and a man's body. According to his own word: In China, performance art was underground, and the conditions were simple and rough. In art festivals outside China, the partners were professional, and we went over every detail. After talking with some overseas artists, my views and thoughts changed.
After 1996, Fen-Ma Liuming was welcomed by most performance art festivals and art exhibitions. In a performance in Lyon, France in 2001, Ma took some sleeping pills and rendered himself motionless. Then the audiences were invited to come on stage and take photo with Fen-Ma Liuming. The idea of this sleeping version of Fen-Ma Liuming is to blur the boundary between man and woman, self and non-self. The final performance of Fen-Ma Liuming was at the 2002 Asia Performance Art Festival in Fukuoka, Japan.
Since 2000, he has developed his "Baby series", in which the face of Fen-Ma Liuming appears on infant's bodies. It is a surrealistic image that is both disturbing and laughable. Through different mediums such as performance, painting and photography Ma Liuming continues to investigate the limits of provocation, seducing his audience into considering more intriguing matters.
(This book tells that Ma Liuming showed his intersex image...)2012