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—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

—  To make an appointment at our new space in Chinatown, Manhattan, email lulu@far-near.media

13.07.2022
Art Interview

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03.02.2023
Photo Series Poetry

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05.01.2022
Event Interview

Lisa Kwon, Jane Jin Kaisen

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Foraging For Somewhere to Call Home – Sirui Ma’s “Little Things Mean a Lot”

June Kitahara, Sirui Ma

05.07.2024
Event Photo Series
A
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What can the rubbery flesh of a mushroom or the ribbed surface of tree bark tell us about histories of migration and photographer Sirui Ma’s desire to call someplace “home”? Ma’s recent solo exhibition, “Little Things Mean a Lot,” hosted at Hackney Gallery from June 20th to June 30th, engages in a photographic dialogue with London’s natural landscape to navigate themes of interconnection, migration, and intimacy.

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Upon entering the gallery, viewers are greeted by a salon-style arrangement of Ma’s photographs, forming a rhizome of London’s cityscape. Having relocated from Beijing to New York to London, Ma found solace and deep curiosity in the hidden intimacies of metropolises. Throughout the exhibition, viewers embrace Ma’s visual impulses, tracing the various objects and moments that captivate her. We sneakily join Ma in reading a crinkled love letter found on a roadside or gazing at an arrangement of juicy, blood oranges. The varied viewpoints provoke a sense of movement, urging us to engage with each visual oscillation. Elements of childlike wonder and play are especially present in her portraits of Asian women, where Ma encourages her sitters to engage with the tactility of nature. Each photograph contains a sonic undercurrent – a woman peering into a moss-filled jar, blowing a dandelion, or gazing into still waters.

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Ma’s curiosity extends to eukaryotes, particularly fungi, which share half of their DNA with humans. More significantly, her images of mushrooms gesture to a little-known history of the wild mushroom commodity chain across the globe, which often relies on the physical labor of highly skilled harvesters. The life of a mushroom similarly mirrors its subsequent exploitation. As Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, author of “The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins,” states, “below the forest floor, fungal bodies extend themselves in nets and skeins, binding roots and mineral soils, long before producing mushrooms.” In Ma’s images, the budding mushroom embodies its role as a marker of survival – a leathery, pungent symbol of hidden labor.

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In another one of Ma’s photographs, a sitter sprawls in a dandelion field, where the flower is notable for its ability to germinate and adapt where it lands. Her photographic method embodies an ethic of foraging, a precise eye that gravitates toward signs of resilience embedded in the soil. Perhaps, her photos suggest, we echo the migratory patterns of the natural environment—seeking refuge, adapting, and yearning to establish a place we can truly call “home.”

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“Little Things Mean a Lot” took place at Hackney Gallery, London, from June 20th to June 30th, 2024.

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