Installation view of Eight Views of Paradise Interrupted, 2017. Ink, paint, acrylic panels, and hand-cut Japanese paper garden, garden: up to 25 ft. long.

Gray Areas: A conversation with Jennifer Wen Ma

Multi-disciplinary artist Jennifer Wen Ma has been busier than usual as she takes the critically acclaimed opera Paradise Interrupted (2015-ongoing) on the road. Her visually stunning installation, enhanced by interactive digitalized technology designed by Guillermo Acevedo, sets the stage for an intriguing score by prominent Chinese composer Huang Ruo, who deftly blends traditional Kun opera with contemporary Western formulations to form a bewitching aural hybrid. The tale itself is an interweaving of cultures, as the Garden of Eden merges into The Peony Pavilion, one of China’s most famous operas, its 22 hours compressed here into 90 minutes. The tale focuses on a woman in search of an unattainable dream as she attempts to return to a mythical garden and her ideal, idealized lover. In a metaphorically apt conceit, all of the multimedia projections are cued to her voice and activated by it, which underscores the premise that she creates her own garden, her own world...see the entire article in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.

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