World Chambers

A Forum for the Arts of Contemporary Chinese Women

Posts Tagged ‘female art critics


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When looking up Chinese artists online, I instinctively go to their exhibits to get a hint at gender (it’s not always easy for this westerner to tell male from female names, and not all artist’s biographical statements include personal pronouns). If there are none of the female-focused exhibits of the 1990s listed, then I start to lean toward male.

What does this say about the ways that the creation of “nuxing yishu” (female art) during the 1990s limited/created/influenced contemporary female artists? This genre, created by art historians, defined female art as containing certain, not always flattering characteristics (e.g. child-like qualities, little focus on matters of the world), and some shows were curated along these lines so that women whose art did not display these characteristics were not included.

Some women embraced these characteristics naturally, and their work can be used to show the appropriateness of “nuxing yishu” as a genre. Other artist’s work is in direct conflict with these descriptions, and yet they may still be — and are by others — defined as working within “nuxing yishu.” How did this category impact the artist’s process of self-definition? How did it impact the west’s take on this work?


Written by Andrea Descoteaux Hugg

May 7, 2009 at 4:22 AM

Posted in Nuxing Yishu

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Directory of 61+ Women English-language China Bloggers

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Elliot Ng has compiled a list at Bloggers of blogs written by expatriate women writing primarily in English about China. From his post:


Have you ever noticed that most English-language China blogs are written by men?  While the universe of women English China blogs may be smaller, these blogs add voices that may hint at the differences in experience between foreign men and women in China.  As a start, we compiled a directory of 48 61 women who blog about China primarily in English.  Most of these bloggers are currently in China but some are not.  The list also includes group blogs and anonymous blogs.

Preface, questions, and thanks

Last week, after my post about Eclectic China Blogs–offering an antidote to the “standard business and current affairs white-dude-in-China blogs”– an interesting blog and email conversation emerged between Adam Minter, Laurence Sheed, Fiona Lee, and myself about why there seem to be fewer women writing English-language blogs about China.

Do women bring a different and distinct voice to the English-language China blogosphere?  Why do expatriate men in China blog?  Do expatriate women blog for different reasons?  What do women choose to express that men do not?  And other way around?

I started to organize a list of English-language blogs about China written by women.  So first, thanks: this directory was compiled with the help of numerous people, including contributions from: James of iSpyShanghai, The Gal at Global Gal,  Diana Kuan of Appetite for China, Fiona Lee of quirkyBeijing, Adam Minter of Shanghai Scrap, and Rebekah Pothaar of and Shanghaiist5/5 Update: added a few from Joel Martinsen of and Chris Horton.

Among the various categories, still being developed by Ng, one finds three blogs listed as arts and culture focused, the first two of which focus on plastic fine arts (the third one is a theater blog):

arts and culture

Lee Ambrosy –
Katherine Don –
Elyse Ribbons –

In this forum, we may ask:

How do these women interpret the marginalization of female artists? Do they feel themselves on the fringes of the art scene, more so than an expatriated male might? Do they highlight female artists? How do they define the role of women in the arts in China?

Written by Andrea Descoteaux Hugg

May 5, 2009 at 2:44 PM