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Redefining Female Talent: Chinese Women Artists in the National and Global Art Worlds, 1900s - 1970s

Redefining Female Talent: Chinese Women Artists in the National and Global Art Worlds, 1900s - 1970s

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Title: Redefining Female Talent: Chinese Women Artists in the National and Global Art Worlds, 1900s - 1970s
Author: Sung, Doris Ha Lin
Abstract: This study examines the art practices of three generations of Chinese women who were active between the 1900s and the 1970s. Its conceptual focus is on the reassessment of female talent and virtue, a moralized dichotomy that had been used to frame womens social practices and cultural production for centuries in China. The study opens in the period when female poetic practice was harshly vilified by reformists of the late Qing era (1890s-1911). It questions why womens art production was not directly condemned and examines how womens increasingly public displays of artistic talent were legitimized through the invocation of long-standing familial norms, the official sanction of new education, and the formulation of various nationalist agendas. Most importantly, this study demonstrates how women artists joined female writers, educators, and political figures in redefining gender possibilities in the early Republican period.

Women artists discussed in this study practiced both Chinese-style and Western-style art. It examines their participation in several different public contexts, including art education, exhibitions, art societies, and philanthropic organizations. Representatives of the first generation, Wu Xingfen (1853-1930) and Jin Taotao (1884-1939), advanced the artistic legacy of their predecessors, the women of the boudoir (guixiu), while at the same time expanding the paradigm of traditional womens art practices. In addition to their emerging visibility in the local art world, they also exhibited works in international expositions, engaged with foreign concessions, and traveled abroad. Members of the Chinese Womens Society of Calligraphy and Painting (Zhongguo nzi shuhuahui) who represent the second generation, embraced new institutional possibilities by studying, teaching, and forming a collective to reaffirm womens position in the traditional-style art milieu. Pan Yuliang (1895-1977) and her cohort of Western-style artists who formed the third generation, contributed to modern art reform in China in the early twentieth century. Pans distinct life trajectory and subsequent career in Paris illuminate the ways race and gender figured in transcultural artistic representations from the 1940s to the 1970s. These artists public presence in both the national and global art worlds redefined and repurposed female talent as both a patriotic virtue, and new expressions of gender subjectivities.
Subject: Asian studies
Keywords: Chinese art
Women artists
Chinese painting
Calligraphy
Guohua
Oil painting
Art education
Late Qing
Early Republican period
China
Shanghai
Beijing
France
Paris
Lyon
Italy
Rome
Japan
Tokyo
Female talent
Female virtue
Nationalism
Global art world
Art market
Art prices
World expositions
Art exhibitions
Periodicals
Newspapers
Art magazines
Women’s journals
Photography
Wu Xingfen
Wu Shujuan
Jin Taotao
Jin Zhang
Feng Wenfeng
Li Qiujun
Yang Xuejiu
He Xiangning
Wu Qingxia
Pan Yuliang
Pan Yu-lin
Guan Zilan
Suzanne Valadon
Émilie Charmy
Chang Yu
Sanyu
Zhao Wuji
Zao Wou-ki
Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita
Fujita Tsuguharu
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/32742
Supervisor: Judge, Joan
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Humanities
Exam date: 2016-06-23
Publish on: 2016-11-25

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