Ma: A Moment of Peace








A Moment of Peace

Ma (間) is a Japanese philosophy that emphasizes the importance of negative space. It places life’s greatest value in the gap between subjects. This can be taken literally in physical art, but it can also be taken symbolically in stories and real world situations. As the saying goes, “It’s the journey, not the destination.”

Ma: Moment of Peace was created to allow artists of varying styles to depict their interpretation of Ma. The featured artists in the gallery were not given limitations on the medium or style they could choose, just so long as they depicted Ma in one way or another. In this small gallery, one can observe the passing and often times personal moments in life that glue our experiences together.




"Pots are formed from clay,
but the empty space within it
is the essence of the pot."                                                  

- Lao Tsu









Ma is the walk to school, waiting for a train, a midday nap, or watching the sunset.


Ma is the magic of the day to day.


Ma gives importance to the simple, and brings context to all things by providing pause.

Dawn - guinevere Reilly


The act of waiting is essential to the human experience. Most of our lives are waiting in one way or another. Waiting for the bus, waiting for our workday to end, waiting for the next moment of excitement. While waiting, we focus our thoughts and our goals come into full view.

In artist Guinevere Reilly’s incredible piece, a perched photographer lies in wait to take the perfect photo. The subject of the photo, a rare and mythical creature that is the manifestation of childhood innocence. A single moment of success is captured while surrounded in the stillness of Ma; just as the sun rises and the potential of a new day dawns.

Complimentary Silence - @Ghoulkiss

Rainy days serve as an oppertunity to watch active change happen around us. Every droplet that passes through the sky falls to the ground and paints the world. For some, it’s days like these that serve as the perfect excuse to read a book and enjoy the moment.

Artist Ghoulkiss recalls such rainy days in her submission. The pastel coloration, patterned juxtaposition between the hearted quilt and streaks of rain, and all around calm nature of the piece come together to create an upbeat scene.



All Together - Michael Brooks Chandler

There is no such thing as an “end” when it comes to nature. As Autumn gives way to Winter, Winter melts into Spring, Spring heats into Summer, and Summer falls into Autumn, the ever changing state of nature provides a beautiful, never ending rhythm. In this eternal cycle, one can find themselves observing the change in their own life as seasons provide the canvas for opportunity, triumph, relaxation, and determination.

On a springtime walk in his San Diego neighborhood, Michael Chandler snapped a few photos of the plants that grew around him. His whimsical additions formatted in a tetraptych introduce us to a tribe of peaceful creatures who live among the plants. The lives of these creatures consist of 90% rest and relaxation and 10% fun and games.


Heat - RakuGaki Otoko

Creating a piece that has both literal and metaphorical “Ma,” artist Rakugaki Otoko depicts the all too familiar feeling that one gets when warm sunlight hits you at just the right time.

A character from Raku's ongoing comic series, Neme takes a catnap in a room flooded with the rays of the setting sun. While the framing of this work contains plenty of negative space, note the incredible level of detail in the rendering of the light which shines through the window and hits the wall.


Day In - Chaz Bottoms

For animator Chaz Bottoms, a rainy Saturday is a blessing and a curse. Even though the rain can detour plans, it also presents the opportunity to relax, lay down, and decompress.

 He states that, "In times like these, you may not be doing anything, but you are actually doing everything necessary for your health when you take a moment, listen to the rain, and just breathe."


Poolside Leisure - Myra Rose

For Myra Rose, Ma was always hard to find. Life constantly going at full speed left little to no time to be in the moment and enjoy the ride. While down time was rare, it was moments of free time during vacations that served as the best source of Ma for Rose.

Rose’s gallery submission, rendered in her vibrant style depicts one of those vacation moments. Lounging by the pool and watching the sun dip below the desert mountains, all while the fluorescent blue glow of the pool magically illuminates the scene.