The Wintress Armor was inspired by a prose written by a talented friend and writer.
“Ashes, ashes, they all fall down.” Only hours earlier the garden had rustled in the wind, a broad rattling like gasping, as stems and stalks strained. Now, the vast proportion of this space was coated by a scant façade of snowfall. It reminded her of soot, bone-like in its intensity. This irregular canvas, impetuous in its asymmetry, brought her to the very precipice of contrast: she, with her minute exhalations of fog and faintly luminescent cheeks, and this, the totality of blankness. She is rooted to this place, enchanted or enslaved, bound by ruminations and unnatural empathies.
She daydreams of cherry blossoms and bouquets and wild petals. She conjures in her memory the silage of one meadow, its sensation an infusion between the olfactory and prismatic rapture, obliterative and pervasive—those impressions, in myriad fashions, impelling the color of the soul. A beacon of warmth, she, petrified against the freakish backdrop. Pure snow will amplify nearly anything visual, be it the whole or dismembered, ventilating or muted.
She toys with an idea from Eastern composition—this digression, though involving painting—is loosely topical, specifically in Chinese “shan shui,” literally mountain water. A practicing artist had once explained to her with very little pretense that color served to awaken a landscape in black and white; further considering this, she entertains the notion that this frigid courtyard is not annihilated, but patience itself.
She recalls a floral arrangement from a past life, like Cezanne’s palette but more severe in its divisions, raw and beauteous, an unpolished jewel. Each of its individuals, vigorous, delicate and upright. This array, much like ideas of people themselves, loosened its grip on reality as its literal concretizations failed. As it vaguely disintegrated in her mind once more, torn asunder by mere gravity, this a mere sequential, prolonged, humiliating process, stalks desiccated, petals awry and peeling and fading, all this decaying into an indiscriminate mush, brilliant only in its stolid march towards gross uniformity, she pauses.
The air seems poised to reveal, dotted by billions of ivory specks. Towards an audience of none, she gestures without gesturing. The evocation is ingrained in her features, angular, stately, sentinel-like, yet vivacious. She notices sinuous instances of ebony, these delineating and slicing up the landscape. She sees a barren space waiting to be awoken. And she, in death-like fixity, is to do precisely that.
– Dennis Ma
Full discretion, my model was not photoshopped into a snowy background. She is actually standing in a forest in the dead of winter (or as Boston would call it, March). We kept her outside for a maximum of 30 seconds, just enough time to capture the stillness. To others she is a statuesque figure in the wind. To us, she is a warrior.