The Real Deal Miami

Chinese artist rethinking how developers use art

Simon Ma had recent talks with Swire, developer of Brickell City Centre
November 14, 2014 02:15PM

Simon Ma

Simon Ma

Developers have long tried to pawn their pricey condos off to consumers as works of art, with brand-name architects, buzzy contemporary artworks and bespoke interiors. But Chinese artist Simon Ma claims developers are making a mistake.

Ma, “one of China’s most commercial artists,” who works with real estate ventures as an artistic director, told the Daily Business Review developers need back away from simply throwing up fine art or slapping big art world names on their marketing materials.

Instead, Ma says he strives to “link the architecture with interior and also landscaping and also lighting, even the design and the furniture and the decor together with the project itself.”

The artist has recently met with several South Florida developers to discuss ways to integrate art into their projects — specifically Hong Kong-based Swire Group, developer of the Brickell City Centre project.

“Miami is a place that can accept big concepts better than Asia at the moment because of the people, just like the Design District,” Ma said. “The concept was very good, but if it had happened in Asia, people would not have appreciated it as much. But here, there’s so much going on here, people coming from everywhere, that the attitude when a new idea is presented is more ‘Yeah, why not?’” [Daily Business Review]Christopher Cameron