Big Pond

Maxine Xie Xian Xin

The sculptor must search with passionate intensity for the underlying principle of the organisation of mass and tension - the meaning of gesture and the structure of rhythm.” -  Barbara Hepworth
Sculpture is the art of the intelligence.” -Pablo Picasso
Maxine Xie Xian Xin is one of those rarest of creatures; a Malaysian female sculptor who is also an accomplished draughts person and a contemporary painter with an acute flare for colour. She is as at home crafting sensuous clay busts as she is carving female figures from raw wood. Peacock coloured ceramics, and delicately greened bronze works, equally interest Maxine’s creativity, using whatever materials suits the needs and complexities of the finished work.

Though Malaysian born, Maxine is an internationalist whose work spans both Asia and Europe. As well as exhibiting copiously in The Netherlands, Maxine has exhibited around Malaysia (including the nascent Langkawi Art Biennale), Indonesia (including Bali), The Philippines and in Nepal.
Maxine was trained in a prestigious Malaysian school of art (KLCA - Kuala Lumpur College of Art), whose history hails back to Nanyang and the founding of Modern Art in Malaysian. She also trained in The Netherlands whose history reads like the history of Classic and Modern art, on ceramic courses, figure drawing and sculpting courses.
Being of two continents, Maxine is able to bring the delicateness of her Asian heritage and the long history of European painters and sculptors to bear on her own truly original artworks. With this knowledge and ability, Maxine produces work which bears all the hallmarks of modernity and contemporaneousness while, simultaneously, being rooted within its own and Europe’s Art history.
Through their seeming incompleteness and their semblance of being rough hewn, Maxine’s sculptures exude something that the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas referred to as an “otherwise than being,” or a transcendence from traditional expectations of sculpture. In her work Maxine frequently displays fragments of anatomy, eyes with brows, golden noses, heads that could also be masks. She colludes with the visitor in variant stories, myths, refections and refractions of society and expectations of the ‘gaze’. Maxine constantly challenges our notions of malerisch (picturesqueness or beauty, which according to Plato is both a ‘Form’ and a sensory experience) and the beauty of ugliness, as represented by picked sharks and bisected cow and calf by the British artist Damien Hirst.
The unfinished or rough quality of Maxine’s works may be seen as the equivalent to impasto in painting and a beckoning invitation to interact, to touch. Art historical precedent hails back to 16th century Italy and then The Netherlands, with Dutch artists like Adriaen de Vries (1556 to 1626) when alla prima painting techniques (without preliminary drawings) and the ‘loose touch’ were in mode. Rough hewn work is better than finely finished work at a distance, this is because the eye becomes lost in the polish and the finish of smooth work, but not in the rough. Most work, however, is seen at a distance. Maxine’s small sculptures, known historically as bozzetti(scaled down sculpture or miniature representations of larger works), demonstrate the unique beauty of rough hewn sculpture, as also seen in the small work of Michelangelo, Cellini etc., and echoed by Adriaen de Vries. Maxine Xie Xian Xin, with work such as Femme-nine (clay, 16cm) therefore, is in good artistic company.
Above all, the artist in Maxine believes in ‘Freedom of Expression”, boldness and experimentation, which show themselves in her work. It is with these, she believes, that self discovery comes. She engages with workshops to enable people of all types to come to terms with their creative expression.

Name of artist / sculptor / artist :  MAXINE XIE XIAN XIN 
Date of birth :  28th March 1960
Email address :

Background : 
1978-1980 - Diploma in Art & Design, Kuala Lumpur College of Art
1999 -2005- Ceramic courses, Figure drawing and Sculpting courses, ROC Goes, Zeeland, The Netherlands
2006 - Sculpting and mould making and casting training under established Dutch sculptor
2011 - Life Member of National Visual Arts Gallery Malaysia

Past Exhibitions :
- 2017 November- Maxine & Emiko , Sculptor /Painter Exhibition ,The Refinery Art Gallery, D6, Kuala Lumpur
-2016 November – Langkawi Art Biennale 2016 (Sculptor Category) Langkawi Island, Malaysia
-2016 January – Taltalaiya, Itahari, Nepal “ Unity International Sculpture Symposium 2016”
- 2015 Dec  - SHIINE  (ll) Group Exhibition, (Sculptor) SEED d6, KL
- 2015 May – Cebu, Philippines Art Exchange Project “KITA” with Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia
- 2015 April – Hilton Double Tree “The Balancing Act” group exhibition & workshop
- 2015 January – Bali Art Exchange Project “Sama-Sama” with Indonesia, Malaysia & The Philippines
- 2014 December – SHINE Group Exhibition, (Sculptor) SEED d6, KL
- 2014 November – lllXXX@d7- (Sculptures & Paintings) KL
- 2014 October – Langkawi Art Biennale 2014 (Sculptor Category) Langkawi Island, Malaysia
- 2014 August – AATF ArtMalaysia Art Tourism Fair 2014, VIVA HOME, KL (Sculptor Category)
- 2014 January-February – Art of MXXX ceramics at The Refinery, SEED d7, Sentul East, KL
- 2013 December-2013 February – Contemporary Art VI Group Exhibition 2013 at Seed d6, Sentul East, KL
- 2013 November –ArtMalaysia Magazine Issue # 24 ,as the first sculptor featured.
- 2013 October – “5+1 The Art of Life – Abstracts & Sculptures at SEED d7, Sentul East, KL
- 2013 September – “1001 Malaysian Artists & Sculptors” (Sculptor)Exhibition at VIVA HOME KL
- 2012 November - “Members Only” group exhibition (Sculptor) National Visual Arts Gallery, KL
-2005- Group exhibition at ROC Goes & ROC Middelburg, Zeeland, The Netherlands
-2004- Solo exhibition at Het Goese Lyceum, Zeeland, The Netherlands
-2000 - “ Young Artist” self-portrait by Trechter Vijf ,Goes, The Netherlands