Born in FuShun, LiaoNing Province, North East China, with a Manchurian family heritage, Michelle Ma’s love of art is one of the earliest memories she has.
Michelle Ma is a self-taught artist. She was exposed to traditional Chinese ink painting at the age of eight, under the influence of Chinese Traditional Ink Painting Master Qi Bai Shi’s apprentice.
Over the years she has observed China’s change from last 1970’s till the country’s entry to WTO (World Trade Organization). She began oil painting after she moved to Singapore in 2007. As an English language major student in University, she said “English helps me to explore the wonders outside of China. I believe now it is time to share my passion of art to bridge people’s emotion. Her Manchu heritage could be traced back to last century’s warlords era, the ending Qing Dynasty etc, though most of the precious antique like items from that era have never been found, except of course for family stories and glamourous moments told by her old Manchurian grandma.
Michelle’s oil painting demonstrates the bold strokes coupled with strong color contract using the palette knife. That is the
reflection of her fun, straight forward personality and risk taking life experience from China to the West. Her painting reflects the
heritage and emotion from the stories passed down from generation to generation.
Her multi-cultural life allows her to create each unique pieces with a combination of modern and heritage along with East and
West influence. She wishes that her unique contemporary oriental art to reach more people in the world and their space.
Michelle now lives in Singapore with her Australian husband and their two children.
Beside languages I believe art is another way to communicate beyond a nation’s borders or culture.
The main body of my portfolio are oil paintings with oriental relationships. My art work has layers of strong contrasting colours made from bold strokes of the palette knife, a variation to most paintings that are made with the paint brush.
As I paint I will imagine myself in a living with my Manchurian family a century ago, in Northern China. I can do this as I have read many stories that have allowed me to understand my heritage. I show this relationship through the many layers on every piece of my art.
In each piece I passionately tell you a story of a past lifestyle that comprises emotions of hope and freedom but also the realities of hardship and despair. You will notice that I always leave an area exposed on the canvas. In traditional Chinese ink painting space is always left on the rice paper for viewers to imagine or meditate about less being more.
Before I commence any painting, I will spend time assessing the feeling that I wish to share with my viewers. I will also research the essence of why I want to paint a particular subject.