Ming Fay: Beyond Nature

When 18 Apr 2019 - 1 Jun 2019
Where Sapar Contemporary
9 N Moore Street,
New York, NY 10013
United States

Opening Thursday, April 18, 6 pm – 8 pm

Sapar Contemporary is proud to present Beyond Nature, Ming Fay’s first exhibition with the gallery. From our catastrophic tampering in the Anthropocene to the tension and balance of man and creation through the practice of Tai Chi Chuan, in the exhibition Beyond Nature Shanghai-born New York-based artist Ming Fay explores our multivalent relationship to nature. During the 1980s, Fay was a member of Epoxy Art Group, an artist collective with many members from China and Hong Kong who were living in New York’s vibrant artist haven of the Lower East Side. Finding inspiration from Asian and Asian American traditions, his work, including large-scale fruits and alien plant forms, is familiar yet surreal, serving as a warning to our assumptions that we are beyond the control of nature.

Ming Fay in his work comments upon the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. Drawing on an extensive knowledge of both Eastern and Western horticulture and mythologies, along with his close observation of personally collected items such as fruits, seeds, and bones, Fay often reworks nature’s forms in order to fabricate imaginary species. The artist explains, “Much like a scientist, I research and cultivate specific plant forms for their inherent and symbolic qualities, reinterpreting and reinventing them in my studio / laboratory greenhouse.”  This results in works that range from oversized plant forms, theatrical garden-like displays, or overgrown sci-fi inspired environments.  Fay investigates the parallels between the symbolic meanings of the botanical world and human needs or desires.  His installations often capture both the elation and the anxiety that stem from the encounter between humans and the natural world.  He focuses particularly on the concept of the garden as a symbol of abundance or a utopia – a metaphorical location for humankind’s desirable state of being.

Born in Shanghai in 1943, New York City-based sculptor Ming Fay grew up in Hong Kong, moving to the United States in 1961 to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design. He received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Fay has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad.  He has additionally received numerous commissions for public art projects worldwide.

Alexandra Chang is a curator, writer, and arts scholar. She is currently Curator of Special Projects and Director of Global Arts Programs at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, where she organizes the Climate Working Group and directs the NYU Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX). In Fall 2019, she will take on the role of Associate Professor of Practice at Rutgers University, Newark’s Art, Culture and Media Department and Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. Chang is also director of the Virtual Asian American Art Museum and Co-Founding Editor of the journal Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (ADVA), Brill (Leiden). She is the co-founder of the College Art Association’s affiliated society the Diasporic Asian Art Network (DAAN). She is the author of Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Art Collectives from Godzilla, Godzookie, to the Barnstormers  (2008 Timezone 8)  and editor of “Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art” (Duke University Press, 2018).

Image courtesy of the organizer.

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