Femininity in Contemporary Art

Artists:
Folk Artist Ku Shulan(1920-2004) & Contemporary Artists Xie Zhongxia,Yang Jing, Yang Dazhi, Liu Ruizhao, Zhou Qinshan, Zhou Chunyan, Lou Hong etc.
Curator: Tony Chang

The PINK exhibition pays attention to the exploration of contemporary art practice on feminist consciousness. The artists were born from 1960s to 1980s. Works of their female subjects express their strong personal view, full of contemporary sensitivity. Divided into three levels such as Physical Consciousness, Fairy Tales & Dolls Fantasy, and Poetic Aesthetics, according to the subject matters, these works reveal women's spiritual direction in today's social and cultural changes and the new features of aesthetics. Adhering to Amelie Art Gallery's curatorial concepts of tracing the historical context and traditional sources of contemporary art practice, the literature section of this exhibition capture the representative images from the paintings of women in Chinese history, review the evolution of female identity in art history through the cultural and aesthetic style conversions, ecological changes in art. Featuring the precious legacy works of the folk artist Ku Shulan (1920-2004), the show also tries to provide a meaningful perspective to the cognitive awareness of contemporary women.

Ku Shulan was an ordinary peasant woman in Shaanxi folk society, who lived a whole bleak life of poverty and indulged herself in creating colored paper-cutting art works in her later years. Known as the "Oriental Matisse", her pure and simple art works intertwined the original folk themes with her personal life experience, revealing a stunning self-fantasy, building a harmonious female spiritual illusion longing for an ideal pastoral life with favorable weather and ample food and clothing. The female bodies in her works were exaggerated and distorted like a fertile mother pregnant with all things grow and seasons change; the simplified faces have symbolic mask features; the patterns of flowers, figures and animals were warmly mixed. Yet the contemporary artists grew up in homogeneous urban environment. They capture inspirations from their personal life, cultural classics, historical memories and fairy legends. Immersed in the depths of female consciousness this is more private, complicated and irrational; youthful chaste accompanied with inexplicable loneliness; sensitive, depressed but blended with aesthetic vision, their works generate a tension in the resonance and differences of Ku Shulan's perfect and innocent spiritual world.

The Literature Section of the Show:
A Map of Women Image in Chinese Art Works through History>


 
Room No.5
by Xie Zhongxia
Water Colour on Paper,
100x78cm,2011

Sunny Tomorrow
by Xie Zhongxia
Oil on Canvas
120x120cm,2010

Merbromin No.1
by Zhou Qinshan,
Merbromin Liquid Drawing on Paper, 2011.

PINK
by Yang Jing
Mixed Medium on Canvas
30x40cm,2010
Love
by Yang Dazhi
Oil on Canvas
120x170cm,2010

Fruit
by Liu Ruizhao
Oil on Canvas
140x120cm,2011
Room
by Xie Zhongxia
Water Colour on Paper,
100x78cm,2011
World of Separation
by Zhou Chunyan
Oil on Canvas
150x180cm
Girl on Horse
by Lou Hong
Fabic Glass,
35x60x85cm,2010

Goddess of Paper Cut
by Ku Sulan
Paper Cut,78x114cm
Goddess of Paper Cut Ku Sulan
Ku Shulan (1920-2004), native of Wang village, Chidao xiang of Xunyi county, Shaanxi province, was born in a poor peasant family. When she was little, she followed her father to flee from famines and beg. Her feet were bound when she was 4 year-old; at 6 or 7 year-old, she started learning paper-cutting and painting from her mom; at 17, she got married to someone at Fu village of Chidao xiang. She gave birth to 13 kids but 10 were taken away from famines and diseases. Ku Shulan kept on paper-cutting after marriage to kill time. Early winter in 1985, Ku Shulan accidently fell in a ravine. Saved by others, she got seriously ill, almost unconscious for 40 more days. She felt hale and hearty after waking up from the coma, convincing herself that she got blessed by a spiritual “Goddess of Paper-Cutting”. From then on, she added a “Goddess of Paper-Cutting” image in every piece of her works. Long been troubled by pain in her old ages, on Dec. 19, 2004, Ku Shulan died at home, at her age of 84.

Ku Shulan is one of the outstanding representatives of Chinese folk paper-cut art. Her works are shown at China National Art Museum and the Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1996, UNESCO awarded her the “Folk Arts and Crafts Master”. In 2000, contemporary artist Lv Shengzhong co-created "Spirits Evocation by Paper-Cutting" with Ku Shulan in the cave she lives in.