This interview is in conjunction with and in celebration of Ming Fay’s new installation. His piece, Canutopia will open in the new East Gallery May 12, 2012. It will be on view through mid-October.
Christina: What drew you to creating art at the beginning of your art career?
Ming: I like making things since I was a young kid. My mother taught me how to make kites and lanterns and later I made model airplanes and ships. When I was old enough to go to Art School, I studied Industrial Design. One of the requirements in the design curriculum is sculpture and I loved it. So after I completed my design diploma, I majored in sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Christina: How has your art evolved over time?
Ming: In the past four decades, the evolvement of my work started from using bigger than life nature forms as a symbolic entry into the realm of a group of fruits and vegetables; they are metaphors of desire or symbols of power. Accumulation of these plant forms started to lead me into a narrative of installations, with the fictional idea of gardens. I did garden installations for a while and the work started to transform into hybrids and invented shapes. From there the work expanded into jungle formations, suspended shapes, a more loose and wilder tone of the plant forms.
Christina: What is the inspiration for your installation Canutopia at Grounds For Sculpture in the new East Gallery?
Ming: The space, and coming up with the title “Canutopia” which came from two words Canopy and Utopia that started the tune of the installation.
Christina: Is your process for creating new works and installations an organic one or is it planned?
Ming: It is organic in process but planned in vision.
Christina: Explain how your work relates to nature, the garden, abundance and the “lost utopia.”
Ming: The work started from a craving for nature in the big city and yet all nature in the city is controlled by mankind. So nature becomes a very specific view of value by the human who cultivates it and thus the garden. From the garden we practice abundance, lust, beauty, imagination, desire, and the path to utopia. Utopian ideas fade or change as time passes and therefore Utopia is an illusion.
Christina: Discuss a little about the materials you use and why you chose them. How do they relate to your philosophical ideals?
Ming: What I have been using is mixed media. The basic mix of these media consists of wire, gauze, plaster, paper pulp, urethane foam, and paint. I choose to work with these materials because they are very common materials that could be gotten from art supply stores to hardware stores in any country, which provide me a sense of access to working anywhere.
Christina: What do you enjoy most about creating the installations and new works?
Ming: I am very visual and three dimensional and I like making things. An installation has all these elements I like getting into, and by creating the installation I feel real in my imagination.
Individual new works are continuums in search of shape/forms and expression.
I invite you to comment here after you have seen Ming Fay’s Canutopia at Grounds For Sculpture’s East Gallery.