Co-organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia and Central Academy of Fine Arts China, the symposium was split into two sessions. The first gave a critical overview of the subject, including a paper by Monica Merlin that provided a history of contemporary art by women in China, a paper by Ros Holmes that took up the new condition of artistic creation and distribution through digital and mediated spaces, and a panel discussion moderated by Wenny Teo. The second session focussed on individual practices, with artist presentations from Nabuqi, Ma Qiusha and Ye Funa followed by a discussion moderated by Song Xiaoxia.
By engaging the history of women’s artistic production in China, this symposium sought to recuperate an often-elided narrative, while also asking what it means to be a woman artist working in China today, and whether gender still matters in contemporary practice.
Gender in Chinese Contemporary Art was part of the multi-venue collaborative exhibition NOW: A Dialogue on Female Chinese Contemporary Artists (Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester, 16 February – 29 April 2018), which examined the positions adopted by women artists within the ecology of contemporary China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explored diverse artistic practices which transcend notions of gender difference to offer multi-faceted perspectives on contemporary social realities.
14.00 Welcome by Tate and Central Academy of Fine Arts China
Session 1: Critical Framework
14.20 Introduction by Sook-Kyung Lee, Tate Research Centre: Asia
14.30 Rethinking Women Artists and Gender in Contemporary Chinese Art
Monica Merlin, Birmingham City University
15.00 No More Nice Girls: Celebrating the Ugly and the Artless in China’s Online Spaces
Ros Holmes, Christ Church, Oxford University
15.30 Discussion and Q&A moderated by Wenny Teo, The Courtauld Institute of Art
Session 2: Voices of NOW
16.30 Introduction by Wang Chunchen, Central Academy of Fine Arts China
17.00 Ma Qiusha
17.15 Ye Funa
17.30 Discussion and Q&A moderated by Song Xiaoxia, Central Academy of Fine Arts China
18.30 – 19.30 Reception
Gender in Chinese Contemporary Art was co-organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia and China Central Academy of Fine Arts. Supported by the China National Arts Fund and British Council, Beijing.
Tate Research Centre: Asia has been generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.