LGBTI global news 24-7

Activism is art in China

The currator of an exhibition exploring feminism and sexuality in China argues LGBT activism is art
Image from Guangzhou dancer and artist Er Gao's film My Little One

An exhibition exploring feminism and sexuality in China was a big hit in Shanghai last year and is now showing in San Francisco.

Gay Star News talks to Abby Chen, the currator of WOMEN我們 (the Chinese characters mean 'we' or 'us', pronounced 'wo men') featuring 13 artists, about activism as art, sexual harrasment on the subway and feminism in China's LGBT movement.

Why did you decide to put on this exhibition now?

I did this exhibition last December in Shanghai for the first time. To my surprise it was overwhelmingly successful and we didn't really get harrassed [by the police] in anyway, probably becase we were off the radar.

And the project continued to evolve and the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco saw the response and saw the content and asked me if I wanted to bring the show to San Francisco.

Which artists do you have representing the LGBTQ side in the exhibition? How are they doing it?

When I was in the conceptualizing stage for Women我們 we were invited by a feminist conference to Shanghai. They invited me to curate a show in conjunction with the conference.

After I accepted the invitation I decided that it had to be more than just about feminism itself. I wanted to use that as an entry point to expand the topic to the LGBTQ community. They're really not so visible in China, even though in recent years it has got better.

So I was very adament about not only including the visual culture that comes from this community but more importantly the advocacy groups, the NGOs, that are behind the visibility of LGBTQ people in China. I feel like their existence is almost like an artist. They have to be very creative to survive.

So the NGO groups were presented as part of this exhibition, there are a few artists who talk about sexuality and gender ambiguity,  there are artists who are openly gay and artists who are ambigious about their sexual orientation.

The key issue is how do we make the culture visible in China and how do we bring this expression to the public. The three themes that make up the foundation of my exhibition are capabilty, authority and possibility. The artwork in the exhibition needs to be able to convey that.

Which artists specifically representing LGBTQ life?

One of the artists is Eagle Ho, he has three names. He's also known as Er Gao and his real name is He Qi Wo. So just the name already shows about this multi-faceted individual. And he's openly gay and a contemporary dancer.

I first got to know him in Guangzhou [where he's from] when I was doing the gender identity symposium there. As a young dancer he insisted on doing independent projects so he'd have the freedom to do the kind of dance he is interested in and most of his dance is about sexuality and identity.

I really love his work but I was struggling with how I could present his work in an exhibition. They I found out that he made a documentary film called Little One [scroll down to watch a preview] which has his own dancing as well as the living conditions of the LGBT community in Guangzhou.

Another artist Mu Xi does not identify any sort of sexual orientation. But one of the key things when I was doing the show is I wanted to talk about the idea of feminism and the idea of LGBTQ, so the sexual orientation or the gender itself of the artists participating is not the most important part.

Where is feminism at in China?

For us living in San Francisco it's hard to come across a man who will say he's not a feminist. In China, so many women are even afraid of the label feminist, let alone men.

It's a very demonized idea in China, for lots of people. For example one of the participanting artists Elaine Ho, she was born in Florida but is Chinese-American, said she never considered herself a feminist until she was being referred to so many times as a feminist when I was in China. She said I guess that says a lot about feminism itself in China.

But definitely as I have been doing the exhibition and talks in China I started to realize how demonized the word feminism is. I started to realize that people viewed me differently when I associated myself with the label.

Moving away from the terminology, how are women's rights in China generally?

After 1949 the Chinese Communists seemed on the surface to bring more equality for women, including equal pay. So immediately after 1949 women seemed to feel that they got equal status. But they needed to get a job otherwise they couldn't survive.

But we've seen that equality has gone backwards in recent decades, which is frightening. For example, it didn't dawn on me and my mum until she hit 55 and she had to retire five years earlier than the men. Even though a lot of studies show that women live longer than men, but that's not the point. The point is that women don't have equal working opportunity as the men.

One piece that is in the exhibition is a humor piece called Touch Me. It's a metal bra made by female artist Gao Ling that she wore on the subway. This was in response to the Shanghai subway official Weibo [Chinese Twitter] issuing advice to women that said wear less provactive clothes to avoid sexual harrassment.

The protest was really successful. It was reported in the national press and TV, but Shanghai local press were prohibited from covering the story. In the current exhibition in San Francisco we have the whole video of what happened.

So the retirement issue, and the sexual harrassment is coming more and more severe. And in Wuhan right now they have subway carriages only for women which is going back to segregation. It's disappointing.

How to feminsim and the moverment for LGBT rights intersect in China?

With the LGBTQ movement we see that gay men who have taken leadership don't really see femisim as an issue. We're starting to see a nuanced shift that could be troublesome in the future.

At the same time there are more and more issues, like the subway annoucement, that are pushing the issue forward, which is encouraging. For example the Shanghai Nu Ai, the lesbian group, the leader of that group Xiang Qi told me that they can't have a lesbian group without advocating for femism and vice versa.

How was the exhibition recieved in Shanghai and San Francsico?

We had a screening in Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum and it was packed - people could not even come in - lots of people were standing watching the film. And the same thing for the actual exhibition. It was in a remote location because all the gallerys were charging rental money, so the venue was really far away from the center on the subway. But it was super-packed on the opening night. Shanghai Nu Ai were performing The Vagina Monolgues that night.

And then when we got to San Francisco, then it was a new audience at the Chinese Culture Center that we haven't seen there before. The center is located in Chinatown where the community is actually very conservative. I find as a currator I'm expected to deliver something really traditional. But through this exhibition we were able to break that mould and connect to different people.

WOMEN我們 is at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco until 30 November.

Watch a preview of Er Gao's film Little One here: 

Watch a preview of Moth by Mu Xi here:

Comment on a news story

Comments

In the current exhibition in San Francisco we have the whole video of what happened.
descargar counter strike 1.6 gratis

We didn't really get harrassed [by the police] in anyway, probably becase we were off the radar.gclub casino

don't try this, isn't good. sepatu futsal

You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!decks de madeira hotel praias em florianópolis

est très féminin à regarder et vient en différentes couleurs, des gravures et des styles. Accessoire déclaration d'aujourd'hui sont venus par voie de sac a main guess, dans ce que le monde l'Internet est l'étiquetage du sac Guess pour le printemps 2014. Les éléphants brunes contre les feuilles vertes avec des bonhommes de neige blancs sont parfaits. De l'approbation par les choses matérielles, une fille serait commettre un suicide social! Compte tenu de certaines considérablement au fil des ans pourrait vous faire preuve d'audace appartenant au cheptel, et vous serez découvert sur une des routes tout de suite. Ledit sac se sent parfois inutile, mais mon mari a insisté pour que nous arrivons comme un signe de respect et aussi pour souhaiter la bienvenue aux nouveaux voisins dans le quartier, il accordent généralement à notre individuel. Blazing à effet de levier à balayage dommages bacs de mode, les développeurs gros bracelet guess Chine sont avec les plus critiques vers l'intérieur de ces affixes. Faillite avocat Las Vegas légitimes Guess sacs un prix merveilleux le long de plusieurs des sites d'information du bijoux guess. Corporation a été fondée vers et après cela, luxe sacs sont habituellement maintenu la conception de vos femelles adultes associés avec le jour monde contemporain présente en entier. Le nom est devenu encore plus grande quand Marriott International Group a décidé de créer une joint-venture. Le logo a été déposé en français pour être protégés par la loi, et a été maintenu contre la copie et de l'imitation. L'hiver est si long et si froid, je me sens terrible. Cependant, vous aurez à verser des milliers de dollars s'il vous plaît votre dame avec montre guess collection. Alors vérifie maintenant, En ligne et dans les boutiques spécialisées n'ont pas de parallèle. Si vous avez été à un port de plaisance de retard. Guess sera au premier rang quel que soit le standard que vous compter pour les évaluer. En outre, des vrais guess montre sont les meilleurs cadeaux pour des occasions comme les anniversaires, fête de mariage ou des fêtes. Beaucoup de montre guess de renom fabrique de créer et designer du marché des montre guess inspirés qui offrent une excellente qualité et de durabilité.

http://www.france-guess.net/

I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before. what does bubblegum casting do

Thanks, that was a really cool read! gclub

The core of an anti-aging program is gymnastics. ... as the most powerful weapon against aging and all other methods as ... Old school new body

However panic attacks quickly generalized and other media ... is the psychotherapeutic treatment with Cognitive Behavioral ... Panic Away Review

allowing her to buy it back at a profit. Traders can also short stock indexes through the futures markets, which allow players to easily take short or long positions.Horse boxes

Facial Treatments Acne - Acne Scars Acne No More Reviews

How can I lose the pounds of pregnancy while breastfeeding? https://www.facebook.com/pages/Old-school-new-body/230775463774260?ref=hl

On top of taking these herbal remedies, there are effective natural techniques available as well such as Panic Away.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Panic-Away-Review/1399895330265703

Thanks for some other great post. Where else may possibly just anyone get that type of info in such an perfect indicates of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info. http://www.dietmythsandfacts.com/2013/07/venus-factor-review.html

Your blog is well done and I enjoyed reading this post. dietmythsandfacts

This great article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. http://www.dietmythsandfacts.com/2013/11/pro-testosterone-reviews.html

Nate Miyaki is fitness a certified nutritional expert and fitness author that has been featured in publications... feast your fat away nate miyaki

cool information thank you for sharing it, would have been very useful for people who have read it and I find it useful as well, I also have a bit of interesting information about Jalantikus.com Download Game PC dan Android Gratis Terbaru dengan server lokal those who want to read them please visit their website and wait for comments thanks

If You Have An Amazing Face And U think u can be a model then you Can Join CelLancer.Com To Sell your Beauty Online, Infact you can sell or Buy Video Ads And Other Videos On CelLancer.Com, So Come And Join Right Now to Buy Or Sell Online Service at CelLancer.Com
Video

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea. Judi Bola Bola Tangkas Judi Bola Online Permainan Bola

Back pain is in essence one of the most ordinary problems come into view in various people. There are several reasons behind that how these problems are originated, like continuously coughing, long time study, stress, and continuously sitting at one place or any kind of accident. For more information please see http://www.nocarbdietmenu.com/back-pain/

Aging can’t be stopped upon its monitors. But along with proper skin care products and also the right Anti-Aging lotion, amazing results is visible in just a couple weeks. The outcomes become much more visible along with regular make use of. It is actually advised though that after using Anti-Aging wrinkle lotion, the whole kit from the same product can be used. For more information please see http://www.nocarbdietmenu.com/anti-aging/

You will find always monetary implications associated with including art being an Alternative resource class. While this was previously a non-transparent marketplace, it has become more accessible because of the increasing accessibility to indices as well as data about the art marketplace. For more information please see http://www.nocarbdietmenu.com/alternative/

Allergies are the result of a disturbance as well as irritation within the body’s defense mechanisms due to the intrusion or impact of certain external or even foreign substances which are perceived to be harmful towards the body. For more information please see http://www.nocarbdietmenu.com/allergies/

I really admire the important ideas that you offer in the content. I am looking forward for more important thoughts and more blogs. Judi Bola Bola Tangkas Taruhan Bola

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Bandar Bola Sbobet Casino