Ma Liuming (Chinese, b.1969) is a performance artist and painter best known for avant-garde performances as his alter ego, Fen-Ma Liuming, which he assumed in 1993. Fen-Ma Liuming is an androgynous figure who emphasizes the contrast between a woman’s dress and a man’s body. Born in Huangshi, Hubei Province, Ma studied oil painting at the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, and moved to the East Village artist colony on the outskirts of Beijing. As a student, he staged performances of wrapping his body in plastic wrap to express the feeling of restriction. His nude performances during the 1990s were scandalous, and in 1994 he was arrested and held in prison for two months. After he was released, Fen-Ma Liuming appeared in another nude performance, Frying Fish, during which he fried a live fish until it charred. For his performance Fish Child(1996), Fen-Ma Liuming hung a live fish from cords in a bathroom and took a shower. In 1998, Fen-Ma Liuming walked along the Great Wall naked, a controversial event that raised issues of tradition, cultural taboos, and political boundariess. Like all of his performances, Great Wall was documented by the East Village photographers. Many of Ma’s paintings depict Fen-Ma Liuming as an infant against a colorful background, while his most recent series of paintings abandons his alter-ego for contorted human figures against black backgrounds. Ma’s work has been exhibited at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Fukuoka, Japan, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, and the National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

Timeline

1969
Born in Huangshi, Hubei Province, China
1981
Began to study painting with tutor Cai Erhe
1987–1991
Oil Painting Department, Hubei Academy of Fine Arts
1991
Graduated from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Oil Painting Department, Hubei Province, China
Currently lives and works in Beijing, China

Exhibitions

2009
Ma Liuming New Work Exhibition, Galería Dolores de Sierra, Madrid, Spain
2008
AVANT-GARDE CHINA: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art The National Art Center,Tokyo/The National Museum of Art, Osaka/Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art Japan
2007
A Brief Introduction of Ma Liuming, Galería Dolores de Sierra, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2007
Marella Gallery, 798 Factory, Beijing, China (solo)
2007
Political art, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
2007
Timerol, Intimacy, Triennale, Milan, Italy
2007
Dragon's Evolution, New York China-Square Art Center, USA
2007
Art Now – Shanghai, Beijing Art Now Gallery (Shanghai Station)
2007
Photography of performance in China, Ying Gallery, 798 factory, Beijing, China
2007
Art Taipei 2007, Star 85 Art Space, Taipei, Taiwan
2007
Three Language Three Colors, UM Gallery, Korea
2006
Jiang Hu, Tilton Gallery, New York, U.S.A (group)
2006
Re-Excavate the Contemporary Realism, Soka Art Center, Beijing, China (group)
2006
Process & Expression, Star 85 Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan (group)
2006
Unclear and Clearness - Contemporary Chinese Art, Korea
2006
Artside Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
2006
Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy (solo)
2006
The Great Performance, Max Protech Gallery, New York, USA (group)
2006
Long March Capital, Long March Space, Factory 798, Beijing, China (group)
2006
2006 China Contemporary Art Festival, Korea (group)
2006
A Point in Time, Wuhan City Fina Arts Literature, Wuhan, China (group)
2006
Ma Liuming, Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy (solo)
2006
Ma Liuming, Ma Liuming in Seoul, South Korea (solo)
2006
"art taipei 2006" taipei
2004–2006
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From China, The Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; International Center for Photography, New York, USA
2005
Ma Liuming: Chosen Images, Aura Gallery, Shanghai, China
2005
Mahjong, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
2005
China, Palazzo Saraceni and San Giogio in Poggiale, Blogna, Italy
2005
Dream Producers (II/VI): The Imaginary Museum of Chinese
2005
Contemporary Art, Xin Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art, Factory 798, Beijing
2005
Prague Biennale 2, Prague
2005
The Gesture.A Visual Library in Progress, Macedoian Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece
2005
The Strange Heaven-Contemporary Chinese photography, Finland
2005
Ma Liuming, Gallery Albert, Paris, France (solo)
2005
Ma Liuming, Beijing Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China (solo)
2005
Ma Liuming Performance Chosen Images, Aura Gallery, Shanghai, China (solo)
2005
Modern Art of China- Sigg Collection, Berne, Switzerland (group)
2005
The Wall, Beijing, USA (group)
2005
Mayfly, Beijing Commune, Beijing, China (group)
2005
Gallery Albert, Paris
2005
Beijing Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China
2004
chinese eyes: contemporary chinese photography goedhuis contemporary ny usa
2004
"no body's fool no body's hurt" aura gallery shanghai
2004
"if you are collector" aura gallery shanghai
2004
"illusion" aura gallery shanghai
2004
"me me me! - part i" courtyard gallery beijing
2004
"face to face" aura gallery shanghai
2004
China, The body Everywhere, Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseille, France (group)
2004
Forbidden Senses ? Espace Culturel Francois Mitterrand de Perigueux, Ancien Eveche de Sarlat, France (group)
2004
Examining My Own Practice, London, UK (group)
2004
Camera / Action : Performance and Photography , Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA (group)
2004
Fen-Ma Liuming, Top Space, Tai Kang Life Building, Beijing, China (solo)
2004
Me,Me,Me: Courtyard Gallery, Beijing
2004
Top Space, Tai Kang Life Building, Beijing , China (solo)
2004
Ten Years Review of Ma Liuming’s Works, Top Space, Beijing, China
2003
Ma Liuming, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore
2003
Any Day, performance at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan
2003
Ma Liuming, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2003
china art now-out of the red MARELLA ARTE CONTEMPORANEA , Milano, Italy (photographs and video of performances)Traveling exhibition:Trevi Flash Art Museum
2003
"Summer 03" Chinese Contemporary Art Gallery, London
2003
CORPS DE CHINE, Gallery Anne Lettree, Paris
2003
FEMMES DE CHINE, Gallery Veronique Maxe, Paris
2003
Entre de Chine _ Chine et mutations, |uvres vidéo d'artistes contemporains chinois . auPalais de l'Ile – Annecy, magespassages, France
2003
The Reencounters d'Arles Festival, Arles, France
2003
The Strange Heaven-Contemporary Chinese photography, Gallery Rudolfinum, Prague
2003
Peripheries Become the Center, Prague Biennale 1 2003
2003
Bare Androgyny, Beijing
2002
international exhibitionist curzon soho cinema london
2002
reinterpretation: a decade of experimental chinese art 1990-2000 the first guang zhou triennial china
2002
ma liuming zeit-foto salon japan (solo)
2002
translated acts museo de arte carrillo gil (carrillo gil museum) mexico city
2002
The 2nd Pingyao International Photography Festival: Chinese's New Photography, China
2002
When it rains it pours , ddm, Shang Hai
2002
Art Moscow, Moscow, Russia
2002
Paris-Pekin, Paris France
2002
New Photography from China, CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China
2002
New Expression of Korean and Chinese Painting 2002
2002
Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
2002
Chinese Modernity, Fondation Armando Alvares Penteada, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2002
Ma Liuming, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore (solo)
2002
New photography from China, CourtYard Gallery, Beijing
2001
Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
2001
Art Moscow, Moscow, Russia
2001
New Expression of Korean and Chinese Painting 2002, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
2001
Chinese Modernity, Foundation Armando Alvares Penteada, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2001
Performance at LES SUBSISTANCESTM, Part of festival Polysonneries, Lyon, France
2001
Performance at Dilston Grove Church, Part of Span 2 International Performance Art, London
2001
Ma Liuming, Tensta Konsthalll, Sweden (solo)
2001
Fen-Ma Liuming in Montreal, Performance at Studio 303, Part of Festival Art Action Actual, Montreal, Canada (solo)
2001
Performance at Studio 303, Part of Festival Art Action Actual, Montreal, Canada
2001
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; travelled to Queens Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA
2001
On Boys and Girls, Upriver Loft, Kunming, Yunnan, China
2001
Ma Liuming, Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
2001
Translated Acts , Haus der Kulturen der Welt , Berlin
2001
Traveling exhibition: Translated Acts ,16th October----1st February 2002 Queens Museum of Art, New York
2001
HOT POT,KUNSTNERNES HUS , Oslo, Norway
2001
EGOFUGAL, The 7th International Istanbul Biennial, ISTANBUL
2001
Naked, Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, U.S.A
2000
Man and Place, Kwangju Biennial 2000, Korea
2000
Time of Reviving , Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art in 2000 , UPRIVER GALLERY , China
2000
Utopia, International Exhibition at Rogaland Kunst Museum, Norway (group)
2000
The Figure: Another Side of Modernism, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, New York, USA
2000
Our Chinese Friends, ACC Gallery Weimar / Neudeli-Gallerie der Bauhaus (in collaboration with Gallerie Urs Meile Lucerne), Germany
2000
Chinese Performance, JGM Gallery, Paris, France
2000
Manly, Art in General, New York, USA
1999
Pink for Boys / Blue for Girls, NGBK, Berlin, Germany
1999
Aperto over All, The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1999
Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
1999
Fen-Ma Liuming in London – Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, United Kingdom
1999
Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1999
Fen-Ma Liuming, part of “Inside Out: New Chinese Art” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
1999
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, part of 'Inside Out: New Chinese Art,' San Francisco, CA, USA (solo)
1998
Chaos and Birth/Ma Liuming ’98, Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan
1998
Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1998
Fen-Ma Liuming Walks the Great Wall, Beijing, China
1998
Fen-Ma Liuming at P.S.1, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA
1998
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA (solo)
1998
Inside Out: New Chinese Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA
1998
Video of performances, Autonomous Action , The large Glass. Auckland, New Zealand (group)
1998
Tamavivant '98 , Tama Art University, Tokyo, Japan (group)
1997
Degenderism , Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (group)
1997
Another Long March, Breda, Holland (group)
1997
Photographs of Performances, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
1997
Max Protetch Gallery, New York, USA
1997
Fen-Ma Liuming at the Setagaya Art Museum (solo)
1997
Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1996
Ma Liuming, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1995
To Raise an Anonymous Mountain by One Meter
1995
Fen-Ma Liuming and the Fish, Beijing, China (solo)
1994
Fen-Ma Liuming's Lunch I, Beijing, China (solo)
1993
Dialogue with Gilbert and George,Beijing, China (solo)
1992
Guangzhou Biennial, China (group)

Literature

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de