Ma Liuming

Ma Liuming (1969, Huangshi) was born in the Chinese province of Hubei, but from 1993 he moved to the 798 District in Beijing, a city where he lives and works. Since the Nineties he has conceived some performances in which he transforms himself into an hybrid being called Fen-Ma Liuming, with an hard feminine make-up on his face but declaring his masculinity through nudity. The projection of this new human-being androgynous and self-sufficient is a baby that the artist portrays in paintings and sculptures with a childish body and the adult face in which he is self-portraited.

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Ma Liuming was born 1969 in Huangshi, Hubei province in China.

In 1981 Ma Liuming started to study oil painting, ten years later he graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in the Oil Painting Department.

In 1993 he founded with other artists Beijing East Village, an artists colony on the outskirts of Beijing. Soon it became a known destination for experimental artists.

During this time Ma Liuming began his infamous performances. Given his unique androgynous look, the Chinese artist decided to use it in order to develop his own stage persona, Fen-Ma Liuming, a hybrid figure of female and male elements.

In 1994 together with Zhang Huan and Zhu Ming he created one of his first performances entitled Fen-Ma Liuming’s Lunch 1. The performance consisted in him, completely naked, sucking a plastic tube which was attached to his penis. Then Ma Liuming was arrested for a couple of months.

The power of public nudity is a central theme in his artistic research, a theme well explored in his performances. Public nakedness is a behaviour not allowed in China, that is why he has been the target of government censorship, unable to perform in his own country for most of his career.

In the following years Ma Liuming managed to perform all over the world, from Japan to Switzerland. 

Throughout different expressive languages such as performance, painting and photography Ma Liuming keeps provoking the audience into deeper considerations.

Solo exhibitions/Performance


2007 Ma Liuming, Marella Gallery, Beijing, China
A Brief Introduction of Ma Liuming, Galería Dolores de Sierra, Madrid, Spain

2006 Ma Liuming, Artside Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
Ma Liuming, Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy

2005 Ma Liuming, Gallery Albert, Paris, France
Ma Liuming, Beijing Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China
Ma Liuming Selected Performance Images, Aura Gallery, Shanghai, China

2004 Fen-Ma Liuming, Top Space, Tai Kang Life Building, Beijing, China


2003 Any Day, performance at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan 
Fen Ma Liuming in London, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK


2002 Ma Liuming, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore

2001 Ma Liuming, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden

1999 Fen Ma Liuming in London, Chinese Contemporary, London, UK
Ma Liuming, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
Fen Ma Liuming in Geneva, performance, Performance Index Festival, Geneva, Switzerland 
Fen Ma Liuming in Basel, performance, Performance Index Festival, Basel, Switzerland
Fen Ma Liuming at SFMOMA, performance, Inside Out: New Chinese Art, SFMOMA, San Francisco, USA
Fen Ma Liuming in Enns, performance, Performance Festival, Enns, Austria 
Fen Ma Liuming in Munich, performance, Theatre Festival Speilart 99, Munich, Germany
Fen Ma Liuming in Nagoya, Nagoya, Japan
Fen Ma Liuming in Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

1998 Chaos and Birth/Ma Liuming 98, Gallery Q, Tokyo, Japan
Fen Ma Liuming Walks the Great Wall, performance at Simatai, Beijing, China

1996 Ma Liuming, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London, UK
Fen Ma Liuming III, performance in Beijing, China
Fish Child, performance in Beijing, China
36 Self-Taken Photographs I, performance in Beijing, China 

1995 Fen Ma Liuming and the Fish, performance in Beijing, China

1994 Fen Ma Liuming -Lunch I, performance at East Village, Beijing, China
Fen Ma Liuming -Lunch II, performance at East Village, Beijing, China

1993 Dialogue with Gilbert & George, performance at East Village, Beijing, China
Fen Ma Liuming I, performance at East Village, Beijing, China
Fen Ma Liuming Says, at East Village, Beijing, China 


Group exhibitions


2011 A Tribute To Photography, Milan, Italy

2010 Intimate Travel, Verona, Italy
Collezione UBI-Banca Popolare di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy 
Asta 12, Udine, Italy 

2009 Cina. Rinascita contemporanea, Milan, Italy 

2008 Cina: non solo rosso, Milan, Italy 
AFTERBasel, Milan, Italy 
Zhu Yi! Chinese Contemporary Photography, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona, Spain
From Heaven to Earth – Chinese Contemporary Painting, Marella Gallery, Beijing, China
Avant Garde China: 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
Avant Garde China: 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Art, Prefectural Museum of Art Japan, Osaka/Aichi, Japan
Encounters, Pace Wildenstein, Beijing, China

2007 La Cina è vicina, Naples, Italy
Timer 01 - Intimità/Intimacy, Milan, Italy 
Zhu Yi! Chinese Contemporary Photography, ATRIUM de Alava, Spain
Three Language Three Colors, UM Gallery, South Korea


2006 Jiang Hu, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA
The Gesture – A Visual Library in Progress, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece
Traveling to Quarter, The New Centre of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy

2005 The Gesture. A Visual Library in Progress, Florence, Italy 
La Cina: prospettive d'arte contemporanea, Milan, Italy
Cina: pittura contemporanea, Padua, Italy
Out of the Red II. The photographic session, Milan, Italy
Cina. Pittura contemporanea, Bologna, Italy 
Cina. Pittura contemporanea, Bologna, Italy 
Mahjong, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Prague Biennale 2, Prague, Czech Republic


2004-06  Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, ICP International Center of     Photography, New York, USA


2004 Visual Gallery, Cologne, Germany
New Perspectives in Chinese Painting, Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy

2003 Out of the red. New upcoming generation, Milan, Italy
Peripheries Become the Centre, Prague Biennale, Prague, Czech Republic
Chinese Modernity, Armandao Alvares Penteado Foundation, Sao Paulo, Brazil
A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art, The 1st Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China 


2001-02 Translated Acts, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin & Queens Art Museum, New York, USA 

2001 7th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey
Hot Pot, Kunstnemes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Take Part, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

2000 Kwangju Biennial, Kwangju, South Korea
Generation Reincarnated: Chinese New Conceptual Art, Upriver Gallery, Chengdu, China 

1999 dAPERTuttO - The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy


1998 Fen Ma Liuming at P.S.1, performance, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, USA 
Inside Out: New Chinese Art, Asia Society, New York, USA 
Tamavivant 98, Tama Art University, Tokyo, Japan 
Autonomous Action, The Large Glass, Auckland, New Zealand
Degenderism, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
36 Self-Taken Photographs II performance, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan 
Fen Ma Liuming at Breda, performance, Another Long March, Breda, Netherlands
New Art, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA 
Photographs and Video from China, Max Protetch Gallery, New York, USA 
Fen Ma Liuming in Tokyo & Fen Ma Liuming in Nagano performances, NIPAF 96, Tokyo & Nagano, Japan
China Avant Garde Material Exhibition, Gallery Q&QS, Tokyo & Atelier Man, Fukuoka, Japan

1995 Original Sound, 10 artists performing individually on a common theme in a given place, Beijing, China 
Contact of the Third Kind, performance in Beijing, China 
The Anonymous Mountain Raised by a Meter, performance in Beijing, China 
Nine Holes, performance in Beijing, China 

1992 Guangzhou Biannual, Guangzhou, China