Seeking the Creative: Tiantian Ma, Painter
How would you describe your art in three words?
Spiritual, Poetic, Ethereal.
Chinese-born, in 1997, and New York-based, Tiantian Ma received her B.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute in 2020. Oil on canvas is her main medium.
Tiantian embraces her spirituality. Under the influence of Transcendentalism, Tiantian has deep gratitude and appreciation for nature, and she emphasizes human harmony and resonance with nature. She believes that humans and nature share a universal spirit. Therefore, fantastical natural elements along with images of man-made objects/human bodies often appear on the same canvas of her work. For example, Tiantian depicted architecture made of crystals, walls composed of plants, etc. Usually, nature and man-made/humans are linked through the flowy aura. The aura is layered, colliding and confronting, chaotic, transparent, pure, with deliberately and unintentionally rhythms.
Meanwhile, Tiantian explores how to square the subjective nature of lived experience with the spiritual, inherently unknowable world. She tries to capture the shining moments of divinity/spirituality from everyday life. Under the guide of instinct, Tiantian imagines a world where animism and empathy, as her favorite poem: “I am integral with you…. I too am of one phase and of all phases.” (by Walt Whitman, Song of Myself)
Where/how do you gather inspiration?
I am a spiritual person. Under the influence of Transcendentalism, I have deep gratitude and appreciation for nature, and I emphasize human harmony that resonance with nature. I believe that humans and nature share a universal spirit. Therefore, I love combining natural sceneries and human bodies (including figures, abstract painted organs, hands, limbs, etc.) on the same canvas of my work.
My inspirations come from both Transcendentalism/Nature Writing literature, such as Emerson, Walt Whitman, etc., and my instinct as well. I try to capture the shining moments of divinity/spirituality from everyday life, and from the nature.
What do you hope audiences retain from your work?
My art is all about expressing and sharing my feelings, so I just hope my art can bring resonance to people. Sharing emotions, and empathy with each other is the most beautiful thing.