Beijing Contemporary Art Galleries celebrate International Women’s Day – in pictures

Beijing’s Tree Gallery and EGG Gallery celebrate International Women’s Day with Chinese women artists exhibitions.

Just in time for the United Nations’ International Women’s Day on 8 March, two Beijing galleries highlight the work of several contemporary Chinese women artists, whose art is an expression of their unique individuality, experiences and interests.

Tree Gallery on the opening day of the exhibition “Hint”, 5 March 2017. The work of Zhou Yumei, 'What', 2017 can be seen behind the window. Image courtesy the curator.

Tree Gallery on the opening day of the exhibition “Hint”, 5 March 2017. The work of Zhou Yumei, ‘What’, 2017 can be seen behind the window. Image courtesy the curator.

Independent curator and art critic Ariel (Ai Lei’er) curated the show “Hint”, running from 5 to 20 March 2017 at Tree Gallery, and incorporated the works of six contemporary Chinese female artists, including Huang Huan, Lu Feifei, Li Xinmo, Tao Aimin, Zhou Chi and Zhou Yumei. She invited the well-known Chinese feminist scholar and art critic Xu Hong to act as academic chair for the show.

Artists, curator and art critics on the opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

Artists, curator and art critics on the opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

Artist Li Xinmo with curator Ariel in front of her work on opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

Artist Li Xinmo with curator Ariel in front of her work on opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

The curator statement suggests that in the 30-year history of the development of women’s art in China, there has been a shift from a discourse focused on gender identity to one that revolves around individuality. Ariel explains that it is not about a collective consciousness and a discourse on power. Rather the art world has arrived at a point when the multiple factors that affect the creation of female artists, such as visual experience, physical experience, knowledge systems, cognitive models and other aspects of diversity, are taken into consideration.

Artist Li Xinmo’s performance piece 'Relation No. 4' on the opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

Artist Li Xinmo’s performance piece ‘Relation No. 4’ on the opening day of “Hint” at Tree Gallery, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

The curator asserts that the core idea of the exhibition is not to highlight the collective female identity among the artists, but rather a hidden factor that nevertheless points to a relationship among their works. A “hint” towards a non-determinable factor, diverging from the core doctrines and formulae and at the same time constituting, according to Ariel, an important expression of contemporary art.

Artist Tao Aimin with the curator in front of a image of her performance piece 'Ova', 2015. Image courtesy the curator.

Artist Tao Aimin with the curator in front of a image of her performance piece ‘Ova’, 2015. Image courtesy the curator.

The show consists of a mix of artists born in the 1970s such as Li Xinmo and Tao Aimin and those born in the 1980s or 1990s. It comprises a variety of media such as painting, mixed media works, installation, photography and performance art, underlining each artist’s distinct visual voice.

Lu Feifei’s photographic work 'Ye Men', 2015, as seen on opening day of “Hint”, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

Lu Feifei’s photographic work ‘Ye Men’, 2015, as seen on opening day of “Hint”, 5 March 2017. Image courtesy the curator.

The second gallery showing the works of female artists on International Woman’s Day in Beijing is EGG Gallery. In its exhibition “Three Contained” running from 26 February to 2 April 2017, EGG Gallery presents the works of contemporary Chinese women artists Cai Jin, Tao Aimin and Pamela See.

Cai Jin, 'Landscape no. 93', 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Cai Jin, ‘Landscape no. 93’, 2014, oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Cai Jin shows her “Landscape” paintings, a series which she has been working on since 1991, but it was only in 2008 that she really felt she got a breakthrough. Her colourful abstracted images draw inspiration from water, clouds and even mildew.

Tao Aimin, 'Calligraphy in Form of Mountain No. 37', 2016, used rice paper, ink, propylene silver, 150 x 220 cm. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Tao Aimin, ‘Calligraphy in Form of Mountain No. 37’, 2016, used rice paper, ink, propylene silver, 150 x 220 cm. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Tao Aimin consistently draws inspiration from traditional Chinese art and culture. Her large scale multimedia work Calligraphy in Form of Mountain No. 37 not only uses traditional materials such as rice paper and ink, but also re-creates the well-known tradition of Chinese landscape painting and incorporates abstracted Chinese characters, resulting in a three-dimensional landscape. Also on view are works from her series “Calligraphy in Form of Bird” based on traditional bird calligraphy from her home province Hunan. Before the invention of paper, it was executed on bamboo to send messages to the emperor and the characters were said to resemble birds.

Pamela See, 'Bee Perfume', 2017, video still of hand-cut paper and animation, 25 min. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Pamela See, ‘Bee Perfume’, 2017, video still of hand-cut paper and animation, 25 min. Image courtesy the artist and EGG Gallery.

Pamela See (Xue Meiling) uses traditional paper cutting as her main medium but her visual expression conveys a contemporary spirit. Delicately hand-cut paper plants and insects are arranged to create whimsical tableaux. She also uses paper cut elements to create short animations, giving life to bees and butterflies flying amongst leaves and flowers.

Nooshfar Afnan

1601

Related Topics: Chinese artists, women power, painting, photography, video, gallery shows, events in Beijing

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