This year，“Harmony in Diversity : Ceramics and Paintings”, the 6th China-Malta Female Artists Dialogue Exhibition organized on Woman’s Day was postponed from its traditional date on March 8 due to unforeseen circumstances brought about by Covid-19. The China Cultural Centre in Malta thought of organizing the event on line in the month of July thus bringing into clear contrast the art of the Chinese artist Li Muyao and the Maltese ceramist Nadya Anne Mangion. It is a confrontation of ideas, reflection and action in a peaceful dialogue. Art is not about absolute understanding but rather about emotions, feelings and sentiments. It is about the pleasure and pain in life. Such events bring our two people closer together in a bond of friendship.
Nadya Anne Mangion
Nadya Anne Mangion is a romantic Expressionist. Her bold Expressionism surfaces in line, shape and form and in colour. Her strong colours dominate her work. Her Expressionist vision and concept is quite explicit in her articulate texture, rough surfaces of seemingly used and broken vases or containers that might suggest wear through use or that these are not functional objects but mere symbols or anthropomorphic forms. They emanate a primitive timelessness.
Since the Raku technique adopted implies a serious scientific study of chemistry and physics, subjects that Nadya studied academically she found it easier to exploit clay and the use of fire and heat.
Her objects project dynamism and movement. They display the force within. They emphasise volume, weight, strength and form. But they do not belong to an ideal classical form as the artist adopts distortion and moves away from symmetry. They are sacred vessels, mysterious and magical. Perhaps they are amulets or a kind of talisman that could protect man from the evil eye. They are sacral objects in space.
Nadya Anne Mangion organized ‘Singularity’ a personal exhibition of ceramics between 18th September and 4th October, 2019 at the Markiż Mallia Tabone Farmhouse in Mosta. The event was well attended and received. Nadya’s tutor and mentor: George Muscat (1962-) is a leading ceramist.
Li Muyao is popularly known as Li Li. She hails from Yunnan Province in southeast China. Her surname is 珵(cheng), but she signs Li Yiqing. She is considered as ‘an intellectual female painter’ and as a ‘master passion female writer’, is proficient in piano, chess, calligraphy, painting, and poetry.
She has attended art lessons with many Chinese art masters, and received professional training from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Among them, is her mentor Mr. Dai Ze who studied under the Chinese master painter Mr. Xu Beihong. Therefore she is also regarded as a disciple of Xu Beihong.
Li Muyao has published many literary works and picture albums. In June 2010, her personal album ‘Waiting for Beauty’ was published by the People Fine Arts Publishing House.
She has personally conducted oil painting exhibitions "Filial Piety", "Beautiful Waiting", "Broken Cocoon", and "Beautiful Scenery" in the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Hall, Lan Club and SZ Art Center in 798 Art District. She has won authoritative awards and praise from all walks of life in many large-scale national art exhibitions.
Li Muyao shows great delicacy and sensitivity in painting flowers, landscape and imaginative scenes dominated by the lotus plant and flower. Her graphics are influenced and inspired by Chinese traditional art executed in pen and ink. Her work is poetic, expressive, romantic and sentimental.
E. V. Borg
Art critic and curator