NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Museum of American Art has moved the Jennifer Wen Ma: An Inward Sea, solo exhibition, to May 13. This was due to the delay of much of the material used in the installation on ships entering the Suez Canal.
According to the Associated Press, a colossal container ship crashed into the bank of the canal where it remained wedged for six days, blocking a crucial artery of global shipping. It has since been dislodged. The blockage had halted billions of dollars a day in maritime commerce.
Jennifer Wen Ma: An Inward Sea is part of the museum’s NEW/NOW series featuring contemporary artists, as well as one of eight groundbreaking exhibitions selected for the 2020/20+ WOMEN @ NBMAA initiative that was extended into 2021 due to the pandemic closures.
Presented in the New Britain Museum of American Art’s William L. and Bette Batchelor Gallery, An Inward Sea explores themes of utopia, dystopia and the human condition while reflecting on last year’s events. Ma touches on the covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns and racial justice uprising in the country and how they have impacted the lives of residents of New Britain and beyond. An Inward Sea: Oral History is a collaboration between Jennifer Wen Ma and oral historian and interdisciplinary artist Nyssa Chow.
An Inward Sea exhibit will feature a bright moon projected above a vast shimmering sea made of black cut-paper waves tipped in gold. The sea is set to evoke a traditional Chinese landscape painting. Spectators can actively walk through the rippling wave formation, which serves as a metaphor for the difficult terrain people are navigating. Two glass pendulums will swing over the sea, in and out of rhythm.
The moon will double as a spotlight to set a poetic stage upon which portraits of New Britain residents will be projected. Speakers will tell their stories and personal experiences of the pandemic and beyond through the black-and-white profiles that will resemble 19th century silhouette portraits.
For more information, visit nbmaa.org/exhibitions/new-now-jennifer-wen-ma.