We caught up with artist and curator, “Winnie” Wing Yin Ma, who is presently studying upon Sarah Sparkes’s How to Become an Independent Curator and Ben Panayi’s Introduction to Product Design course. We also found out more about Winnie’s very own upcoming pop-up exhibition PRESENT…TENSE? taking place this Sunday, 19th November 2017, at The Canvas café.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is “Winnie” Wing Yin Ma and I come from Hong Kong. I come from a traditional Chinese family, living in a mixed culture city, but I have also experienced colonial Hong Kong. I was educated in Hong Kong, Germany and Sweden; the Central Saint Martins’s short courses have specifically brought me to London and I have been here since last month.
What is your occupation?
I am currently practicing as an artist and a curator. Before I came to London I worked for a charities trust in Hong Kong which provides support for the trust to manage a revitalisation projects focusing on heritage and arts.
What courses are you studying on and why did you choose them?
I chose to study the curator course because I am interested in the way a curator collaborates with different talents from different fields. I am fascinated by how they choose to put items together and interpret artwork. Personally I am always drawn to exhibitions that address social issues, especially reflecting upon environmental and mental health issues. For me, I see the curator as a mediator who brings different parties, artworks and ideas together to inspire the public to think. Therefore I chose the How to Become an Independent Curator course to help me gain the professional skills required in order to curate and present inspiring exhibitions for the public.
The reason for my choosing the Introduction to Product Design course is that I am curious about the design process behind all the nicely designed products that improve our quality of life. By taking this course I get to learn what makes a good product design, as well as the creative and technical aspects that go towards producing them.
What do you enjoy most about your courses?
I love the fact that all of my classmates are encouraged to participate in the classes, regardless of the fact that they may be completely new to the field; all are welcome to speak up and to exchange ideas. I particularly enjoy the professional guidance from the tutors, no classmates’ voices are missed.
How has the course benefited your career and personal development?
As a practicing artist and curator with an academic background in science, instead of art and design, the curator course has filled a gap by providing me with proper and practical training on curating exhibitions. Equally the product design course has taught me practical ways in driving a design process. Basically, I have learnt to combine creativity and practicality from the two courses, which is essential for working in any field.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a short course at Central Saint Martins?
There is an old Chinese proverb saying, “Attempt is always the way to success.” If you never try, you’ll never know!
What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist, in any discipline?
I believe passion and compassion are most important to the work of an artist.
What 3 words best describe your short course experience at CSM?
Inspiring, challenging and unforgettable!
Tell us more about your upcoming pop-up exhibition.
PRESENT…TENSE? was previously on display in The Cat Street Gallery, in Hong Kong, early this year and I am so thrilled to have the chance to share this exhibition with the people of London. We, be it Londoners or Hong Kongers, are always busy while time passes so fast that we do not even have a moment to recognise or reflect on such happenings.
Whether it is sadness, happiness or simply serenity, we should open ourselves to feel the moment, to feel our inner selves, as it crafts a unique memory. By sharing the stories of six Hong Kongers through collage arts, visitors are encouraged to face their inner selves and to live in the present moment.
“The Bag & The Collage” – are the medium to express feelings
“To Think Of A Word” – is a process for us to face our feelings
I started the project 6 years ago, asking people to describe someone they treasure with one word, it could be a family member, a lover, a friend, or even themselves. With that particular word in mind, I then designed a bag for each of those lucky ones.
This year, I started the sequel of that project. By asking people to describe this special someone with one word again, each word inspired me to create a piece of collage art. After all these years, has the relation been evolving into the next level, or it was unfortunately ended? Has it turned out to be what you expected?
I will be curating and presenting PRESENT…TENSE? on Sunday 19 November 2017, from 11AM to 7PM, at The Canvas café. The exhibition is FREE and the café is vegan and doggie friendly, located just off Brick Lane in London.
To discover more about Winnie’s exhibition please visit her website and you can also follow Winnie upon Instagram, @wingyin.ma. If you are interested in the courses mentioned, both How to Become an Independent Curator and Introduction to Product Design have available course dates which you can book right now; for all other courses please visit the CSM short courses website.