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Ming Fay’s work primarily comments upon the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. Drawing on an extensive knowledge of both Eastern and Western horticulture and mythologies, along with his close observation of personally collected items such as fruits, seeds, and bones, Fay often reworks nature’s forms in order to fabricate imaginary species. The artist explains, “Much like a scientist, I research and cultivate specific plant forms for their inherent and symbolic qualities, reinterpreting and reinventing them in my studio / laboratory greenhouse.”  This results in works that range from oversized plant forms, theatrical garden-like displays, or overgrown sci-fi inspired environments.  

In recent years, Fay investigates the parallels between the symbolic meanings of the botanical world and human needs or desires.  His installations often capture both the elation and the anxiety that stem from the encounter between humans and the natural world.  He focuses particularly on the concept of the garden as a symbol of abundance or a utopia - a metaphorical location for humankind's desirable state of being.

Born in Shanghai in 1943, New York City-based sculptor Ming Fay grew up in Hong Kong, moving to the United States in 1961 to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design. He received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Fay has exhibited extensively in the United States and abroad.  He has additionally received numerous commissions for public art projects worldwide. 


Of his work Ming Fay says:

”My sculpture comments on the botanical world and its relationship to humans, ranging from oversized plant forms to complex overgrown environments reminiscent of science fiction films. The artwork is an outgrowth of my inventory of fruits, plants, seeds, herbs, bones and mysterious objects. Over time I decipher some of their usage and metaphorical meanings and begin the process of producing new variants for my studio garden.

Borrowing from folklore, I invent and interpret new cultural contexts for my hybrid sculptures.

In recent years, my work has focused on the concept of a garden as a symbol of abundance, paradise and the location for the ultimate desirable state of being. As humans we are consumed with desires and longing for a lost utopia. The garden that I have created is a mindset where I cultivate an imagined place for mystical forms to exist in a sculptural landscape.”

- Ming Fay, 2006


2009 || Chicago Public Art Program, O'Hare International Airport Terminal 2, Chicago, IL

2005 || Whitehall Crossing, Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Staten Island Ferry, Cultural Affairs Department, New York, NY

2004 || Goldilocks, Tivoli Building, Redevelopment Authority, Philadelphia, PA

Pillar Arc, Federal Court House, General Services Administration, Seattle, WA

Delancey Orchard and Shad Crossing, Delancey / Essex Subway Station, Metropolitan Transit Authority, New York, NY

2003 || Arbol Magico, Lluberas Park, Department of Transportation and Public Works, Yauco, Puerto Rico

2002 || Ginkoberry Gwa, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

1999 || Lippman Arcade Project, NYC Economic Development Corporation, Queens, NY

1998 || Staten Island Ferry Terminal Project, Cultural Affairs Department, New York, NY

1997 || Public Art Fund Project, Phipps Housing, The Bronx, New York, NY

1995 || Spiral Ears, Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center, Philadelphia, PA

1990 || Leaf Gate, Keys Flight, Seed of Elm, The Spirit of the Elm, Elm in Bloom, Sprouting Buds, P.S. 7,  Elmhurst, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Queens, NY



M+ Museum, Hong Kong Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
China Club, Hong Kong
Conrad Hilton Hotel, Hong Kong
Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO
Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Howard Plaza Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH
Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, Columbus, OH
Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX
John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
Sidney Lewis Foundation, Richmond, VA
Mobil Oil Corporation, New York, NY
J.P. Morgan, Hong Kong
Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Prudential Insurance Company, Los Angeles, CA
R.J. Reynolds Corporation, Salem, NC
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Ten Main Center, Kansas City, MO
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ New Museum, New York (Epoxy Art Group)


2000-on || Artist-in-Residence, Rinehart School of Sculpture, Master of Fine Arts Program, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

2008 || Sculpture Award, National Academy of Art, New York, NY

2007 ||  Fellowship in Sculpture, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY

2004 ||  National Endowment for the Arts Grant, Commission Proposal Support

1995 || Arts/ Industry Residency Program, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Kohler, WI

1994 || MidAtlantic Arts Foundation Grant, Residency Program, Brodksy Center for Innovative Editions, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

1994 || Residency Program, UrbanGlass: New York Center for Contemporary Glass, Brooklyn, NY

1992 || Arts Partners Program, Lila Wallace - Readers Digest Fund, New York, NY



2019 || Beyond Nature, Sapar Contemporary, New York, NY

2014 || Figures, Leslie Heller Workspace, New York, NY

2012 || Canutopia, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton NJ

2011 || Full Circle, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

2010 || Ming Fay on Orchard Street, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

Out of the Jungle, Gallery 456, New York, NY

2008 || Jungle Tango, Eight Modern Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Ming Fay, Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

2007 || Floating Reeds, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China

2006 || Silent Exile (with Chihung Yang), Two Times Thirteen Gallery, New York, NY

Monkey Pots; A New Species from Ming Fay's Lab, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

2005 || Ramapo Garden of Desire, Kresge Gallery, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ

2004 || From Concept to Reality, Cuchifritos Art Gallery, Artist Alliance, New York, NY

2002 || Hidden Seed Garden, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2000 || Qian and Bao, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

1998 || Garden of Qian, Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, New York, NY

1997 || Lings, Queens Museum of Art at Bulova Center, Queens, NY

Earthly Delights, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, NY

1996 || A Feast for the Eyes, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI

Mid-nite Porridge, Broadway Windows, New York University, New York, NY

Veins of the Spiral, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

1994 || Matter into Spirit, Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

From the Garden, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

Extended Curves, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

1993 || Existential Attainment, Lungman Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

1991 || Nature Reborn: From Archaeology to Science Fiction, Exit Art, New York, NY

Images from Beyond, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

1990 || Objects from Nature, Chinese American Arts Council, New York, NY

Bell Sprouts, Petrosino Park, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY

1989 || Journey into Nature, Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lawrenceville, NJ

Elixirs, Alternative Museum, New York, NY

1988 || Ming Fay, Gallery Triform, Taipei, Taiwan

Elixirs, Alternative Museum, New York, NY

1986 || Ming Fay: Recent Works, Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture, Hong Kong

1985 || Ming Fay, Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO

Drawings for Sculpture, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1984 || Ming Fay, Broadway Windows, New York University, New York, NY

1980 || Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, IL



2019 || Winter Group Exhibition, Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

2018 || Decolonization of Hong Kong / Art Across Archives, Chashama / Think Chinatown @ 384 Broadway, New York, NY

2016 || CNTRL + ALT: Portals of Possibility, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, New York, NY

2014 || Starting Here: A Selection of Distinguished Artists from UCSB, Art Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara

Alijira at 30, NJ State Museum, Trenton, NJ

2012 || Every Exit Is an Entrance: 30 Years of Exit Art, Exit Art, New York, NY

2011 || Boom Box, Abrazo Interno Gallery, Clemente SotoVelez Center, New York, NY

2010 || Connection: Nature, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, Brookville, NY

2009 || Here and Now, Museum of Chinese in America, New York, NY

Unbound, China Square Gallery, New York, NY

2008 || New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond, Museum of Art, Hong Kong

Back to the Garden: Daily Life to Spiritual Vision, Crossing Art, Queens, NY

183rd Annual, National Academy Museum, New York, NY

2007 || Keep the Change, Nathan Cumming Foundation, New York, NY

Town and Country, Lesley Heller Gallery, New York, NY

2006 || Fifth International Biennial Ink, He Xiangning Museum, Shenzhen, China

Transplant Transculture, Glyndor Gallery, Kean University, Union, NJ

East Transplanted West, Burger Gallery, Kean University, Union, NJ

2005 || Neutral, The Lab Gallery, New York, NY

Material Terrain, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO

MTA Art for Transit, UBS Gallery, New York, NY

2004 || Lodz Biennale, Museum of International Art, Lodz, Poland

Crosscurrents in the Mainstream, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Hearing Voices: Personal Narratives, Gallery at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lawrenceville, NJ

Metamorphosis, Kholer Art Center, SHeboygan, WI

2003 || Food Matters, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

Serene Beauty, Jamaica Center for Arts, Jamaica, NY

2002 || To Scale, The Rotunda Gallery, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY

2001 || All Terrain, Contemporary Art center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA

Harvest, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ

2000 || Abundant Invention, Glyndor Gallery, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY

Art Nature/ Nurture, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI

Environmentally Concerned, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY

The End, Exit Art, New York, NY

1999 || As Far as the Eye Can See, Savannah College of Art, Atlanta, GA

1998 || Metaphors: Inspirations and Folklores, Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY

Paper: The State of Connection, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Neenah, WI

1997 || Biennial Exhibition of Public Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Neenah, WI

Biennial Exhibition of Public Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY

Gardens of Urban Delight, Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY

Ancient Emblems/ Contemporary Signifiers, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

1996 || Posing Reality: Contemporary Still Life Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Mutations of Ink and Paper, Taipei Gallery, New York, NY

1995 || Elusive Source, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Undetermined Origins, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD

1994 || Totems and Other Structures, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Fabricated Nature Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID

The Garden of SculpturalDelights, Exit Art, New York, NY

1993 || Diverse Representations II, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ

Spring / Summer Invitational, Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

Diverse Disclosures, Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, NY

1992 || The Hybrid State, Exit Art, New York, NY

1991 || Artists of Conscience, Alternative Museum, New York, NY

World Disorder, The Cultural Space, New York, NY

1990 || Selections, Artists Space, New York, NY

Still Life and Its Borders, Wilson Arts Center, Rochester, NY

Occupation and Resistance, Alternative Museum, New York, NY

The Decade Show, Epoxy Art Group, The New Museum, New York, NY

1989 || Made in New York, Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

Power Struggle, Spaces Gallery, Cleveland, OH

1987 || New York: New Venue, Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC

1985 || Drawings for Sculpture, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong