Xuesheng Ma


The notion of disappearance is reflected in the expression “mono no aware” in Japanese literature. With the retreating glacier, Xuesheng imagines the melting ice within a manmade living space, conveying a sense of poetic sadness. By juxtaposing natural change with interior decoration, she creates an uncanny fusion, questionings the human desire for permanence and the status quo of life separated from nature.

A series of abstract ice cubes reference the supernatural animistic notions according to Japanese Shinto. These glowing ice forms are a reminder of the existence of a species and its passing.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Xuesheng Ma is a photographer based in London. She has studied MFA Photography at University for the Creative Arts (2022), and BA in Photography at Nihon University College of Art. Japan (2020). Xuesheng Ma uses poetic and abstract visual language as a metaphor for expressing the passing moment. Her works relate to the concepts of animistic and fleeting natural phenomena, which is an aesthetic experience that exists in eastern texts. She seeks to interpret this transcendent language definition through her work in contemporary photography.

Her work addresses humanity’s waning relationship with the elements. The images imply a longer, deeper gentle sadness and sensitivity to things passing, which reflects on “mono no aware(物の哀れ)” in Japanese phrase meaning reverence for nature and appreciation for the transience of things.

Xuesheng Ma’s work has been exhibited in the UK, France, Japan, Netherlands.