Artist Nancy Ma's 'Woman-Horse' ceramic exhibition is an artistic collection that displays Chinese culture at its very root. The blend of masculinity and femininity (known as yin and yang), is represented by the fusion of mothers and horses. These two concepts are woven together in these ceramic pieces to represent the struggle of women in China to be strong, enduring and swift, like the horse.
While at first glance it appears that the artwork is simply a series of beautiful ceramics, careful probing reveals the hidden meaning. Traditionally, concepts of masculinity and femininity in China were based on Confucian ideas. Women were expected to excel in the inner sphere (the home),while men in the outer sphere (the world). In today's modern world, these gender lines have been blurred, and women are now expected to be as successful in the outer sphere as they are in the inner sphere. Ma's ceramics are all twisted and deliberately out of shape, revealing the struggle women (particularly mothers) endure to be accepted in the new China.
The ceramics are a small but moving collection representing the eternal struggle of women to reach their potential in this world. While abstract symbolism may be lost on many, the collection is a good way to celebrate the arrival of the Chinese Year of the Horse. As viewing the collection will take less than 30 minutes, it is a good place to go to see Chinese culture from a different perspective.