NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists



NOW is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. The transformative impacts of societal change have opened new, transcultural, possibilities for female artists working today.

Launching in February 2018, the programme includes exhibitions at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (Middlesbrough), Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham) and Turner Contemporary (Margate) an artist film series at HOME (Manchester) and a symposium hosted by Tate Research Centre: Asia (London).

Featured artists in the exhibitions include Na Buqi, Wu Chao, Ye Funa, Yang Guangnan, Ma Qiusha, Li Shurui, Luo Wei, Hu Xiaoyuan, Shen Xin, Yin Xiuzhen and Geng Xue.

Featured artists in the film series include Hao Jingban, Shiyuan Liu, Wang NewOne, Yao Qingmei, Ma Qiusha, Liu Yi, Chi Jang Yin, Miao Ying, Liang Yue, Peng Yun, Guan Xiao, Hu Xiaoyuan, Wang Xin and Geng Xue.

In the history of modern and contemporary Chinese art, female artists have long been marginalised and left at the fringes of art historical debate. This under-representation was challenged in the 1990s by an emerging artistic trend termed ‘women’s art’ and artistic practices started to deal with concepts such as feminism. Although this provided a platform for female artists, it soon revealed certain constrictions and limitations, marginalising female artistic practice to more conservative representations and ideas, such as femininity.

Here, the variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists in the wake of feminist movements of the past. The aim of this collaborative programme is to re-open a dialogue on the way female artists are positioning themselves now and to explore the complex and multifaceted influence of gender categorisation upon their creative process. Furthermore it considers how the rapid transformations of contemporary China have provided possibilities for female artists to take advantage of transcultural opportunities.

NOW is co-organised by Plus Tate, the China Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in collaboration with HOME, Manchester; Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Nottingham Contemporary and Turner Contemporary, Margate. The programme is sponsored by the China National Arts Fund and supported by British Council, China.