Posted by: groundsforsculpture | January 17, 2012

Sneak-Peek at Ming Fay

by Cassandra Demski, Curator of Education

Artist Ming Fay will create a site-specific installation for Grounds For Sculpture that will open this May. His work will be the inaugural exhibition in the newly designed East Gallery inside the Seward Johnson Center for the Arts. This is sure to be a stunning creation in this new space!

Ming Fay was born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong. In the 1950s, Ming Fay came to the United States to study art, which resulted in a MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to being a working artist, Ming Fay currently teaches sculpture at William Paterson University in New Jersey.

This January, several GFS staff members were invited to visit Ming Fay’s two studios. The first stop on our adventure was Ming Fay’s studio in New York City. The volume of work in this studio is astounding! Pieces are scattered on the floor, on tables, hung on the walls and even on shelves near the ceiling. All of his art has an organic, natural theme that wholly permeates his body of work. Many pieces are incredibly realistic; larger-than-life-size fruits and vegetables, including pears, cherries and my favorite: bright red chili peppers. Other works are displayed as mobiles, with long curving branches connected and dangling translucent shapes evoking leaves and plants. Ming Fay was a gracious host who served us all green tea. Thank you Ming!


Next, we loaded into our van and traveled to his second studio space in New Jersey. Although the first studio is spacious by New York City standards, it is small in comparison to his space in Jersey City which is located in a building being transformed into a self-contained, urban artist colony in which many different artists rent space. Ming Fay’s studio has great natural light from a wall of large windows and a high ceiling that provides the perfect atmosphere for his sculptural installations. Near the entryway is a large work hanging from the ceiling and forming almost a wall. This sculpture is comprised of branches, resin castings and various other objects. Ming Fay said that he is always creating and that he works in both studios; this studio, however, seems to be bursting with creativity. Small figures of humans and horses made of wire and then coated in spray foam shared space with pears and other fruit.

As a professor, Ming Fay is a great speaker who was willing to answer all our questions about his process and to provide us with a tour of both spaces. Despite enjoying great success, Ming Fay is very personable and easy to talk to. Since his work is so site specific, it is hard to know what his piece at Grounds For Sculpture will be. I am certainly excited to find out!

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