Qing Ma

Artist Statement: My work traces back to my own experience of growing up in the pop and youth cultures of China as a woman. Through the years, I have seen and experienced how women in China are increasingly self-conscious and stressed about our appearance. As a result of the
growing Chinese Internet celebrity economy, and the relentless focus on a narrow definition of “Internet celebrity beauty”, thousands of secret cosmetic surgery offices have spring up.

For me, there are cultural, political and historical questions that need to be raised concerning this particular phenomenon, and thus, the daily life and mental state of Chinese women has been the ideal research model. I investigated the mass conformity in the Chinese education systems and in the Chinese concept of idealized beauty that is promoted through tradition and contemporary media.

To explore this phenomenon through various aspects, I collaborated with personal experience, online researches on Chinese social media platform “Wechat” and “Weibo”, in-person interview to my art. Related to Chinese beauty culture, my works discussed cosmetic tools and make-up products people are using at first, then transited to the Internet celebrity beauty standard, the influences came from
K-pop wave, Chinese education system and finally came back to my relationship with myself under this beauty culture.