Ma Nong

I am a nomad. Korean stranger when in Taiwan, Taiwanese stranger in Korea, and just a stranger in the US. I am interested in identity; inherited, acquired, ascribed, and the most important thing in my work is anguish about my identity. “We (all) are the people”, and it is my desire and passion for my creations to express that we all have equal values.

As a Taiwanese born in Korea, I moved to South Florida in 2013. We encountered strangeness and difference at every turn, but the sunlight, sky, and green nature of the subtropical culture always gave me warm inspiration. I have lived in South Florida for a decade now compressing and symbolizing this into color-rich cubes representing home, the strangeness of being different from my native country, and the process of adapting. Gradually, I developed a series of portraits exploring the signifiers of human nature. Humanoid figures are portrayed as children’s dolls with exaggerated heads and smaller torsos and are centered and anchored as if trying to root themselves into the frame. They reflect child-like vulnerability where the feelings of dread, loneliness, and weakness to the familiar/unfamiliar world are present. Dimensional crystalline shapes simultaneously create and break the form; symbolizing complex units that both comprise and undermine identity.  Color is bold and convincing, resembling that of nationality, yet it doesn’t reveal the true origin of the figure. In this process of seeing and feeling all my surrounding environments, large puzzles are put together one by one, and these experiences are fused and harmonized in one complete work.


Artist Talk – No’mad Be Happy Exhibition
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