Female Artist VS Female Art
Source:Chinadaily Author:Wang Nan Date: 2008-05-09 Size:
In modern China, women are independent in almost every area in society. However, in the so called “cultural circle,” with males at the core, female artists find it hard to express their true feelings and their works often get marginalized next to their flashier and more famous male counterparts.

 

In modern China, women are independent in almost every area in society. However, in the so called “cultural circle,” with males at the core, female artists find it hard to express their true feelings and their works often get marginalized next to their flashier and more famous male counterparts.

The commercialization of contemporary art is changing the status of female artists. Many of them fear being ghettoized, or categorized with other women, simply because of their gender. Creative women feel exploited for their female identities, although they want their works to be judged on their merits.

Women need to have a voice and often struggle to be heard, but art is one in way in which women can speak loudly.

Here are some words from Chinese female artists:

Cui Youwen: Works are the only way to make female artists alive.

We see the world from different angles, and physical character is one of them. In my sense, works can speak for me. People know and understand me by my works, and then they invite me to attend exhibitions in or abroad China. Mostly they did not have an understanding of my gender before first connection. Works are the only way to bring your ideas to life.

In terms of the relationship between art and market, the second should follow, modulate or even be transformed with the former. Some people pay for the artistic value, but some pay just for commercial value. The results are totally different.

Sun Guojuan: the more independent, the more marginal

Generally speaking, most of women’s works are a reflection of the feminine inner world, which is seen as smaller than the masculine world. Thus their works are inevitably impeded or neglected.

Many would say men in China are more outward oriented, so their works are more accepted by mainstream society. I personally feel women’s self-determination and independence can make them lonely.

Liao Haiying: Female art is in the middle place.

Looking at this historically, we must admit that at present female art is in the middle. The market is controlled by economic rules, which cannot be dominated by people.

Voices from Curators.

Yang Li (Curator of Osage Gallery): Female Art can’t be ignored

Since 2000, female art has gained more and more attention from the public and occupied a lager place then before. One of the reasons is that female artists have matured in their artistic style, ways of thinking, and especially their ability to speak a special artistic language. Undoubtedly, their presence can’t be ignored in modern Chinese art.

Lu Rongzhi (Curator of Moon River Museum of Contemporary Art): modern Chinese female art is not at its best.

I was afeminist, but now I do not talk about it or female doctrine. I often mention a phrase--femme aesthetics, which is not exclusively produced by woman but also can be found in works created by men. It is a choice of different tastes but not a matter of body and gender.

In my opinion, problems come from women themselves. One reason is that female artists are much fewer than their male counterparts. Second, women have to face questions of marriage, family, and children, which mean they can not maintain their creativities for a long and persistent time.

Huangpu Binghui (vice curator of Shanghai zheng Da museum of Modern Art)

Female art belongs to the academic subject, but not a commercial speculation

China now has many excellent female artists, such as Yi Xiuzhen, whose works are as powerful as men’s. The key problem all Chinese artists meet is there is no a regular, strict criticism system in China. The market means money speaks, and money is a low-grade trade.

Like all new things in society, female art can be discussed and considered. However, if it is simply sensationalized it could be led in the wrong direction.

[Editor] Mark Lee

    Artintern