I wrote a few days ago about the US/Chinese feminist exhibition Half The Sky: Intersections of Social Practice Art in Shenyang, China at the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. It runs from April 15th to the 30th.
As I said, I’m delighted to be in the exhibition. The catlogue is beautiful and the reproduction of my photograph of Fumiko Nakmura is excellent. And my photo is also one of the art works featured on the back cover.
Today I want to focus on work by three US women, including my own. There are a number of installation works, so you may want to check the Women’s Caucus of the Arts gallery page and explore it.
I met Fumiko Nakamura through Okinawa Women Act Against [US} Military Violence, who sponsored me there when I was working on my Women of Japan project. In my Women of Japan work, I combine my artistic sensibility with my commitment to capture the person in the photograph: cultural, personal, environmental, and physical cues, what is and is not said or communicated. Centrally, I collaborate with the person in the photograph, who makes many aesthetic choices. Combined with extensive community work, this approach encourages communication across cultural boundaries.
Fumiko Nakamura, filmmaker and peace activist, retired after 40 years as a school teacher to found non-profit Ichi Feet to document the horrors of the battle of Okinawa and the subsequent suffering.
How can we women hold up our half the sky if we are busy worrying about the numbers on a scale? “Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history.” – Naomi Wolff. There is so much hysteria about fat that women today in the United States obsess about their bodies and what they eat to the tune of 66 billion dollars a year. Dieting is not only counterproductive, making a dieter’s body better at storing fat, but it also dulls the mind so that we have little energy to do more than count calories. How can we hold up our half of the sky when we are busy worrying about the numbers on a scale? Scales are for fish!”
In my India series of paintings, I used information from pictures I took in Pune and Bangalore, India. I have scenes of homeless people in makeshift shelters by the side of the road, along with Rotarian supported schools where I took pictures of enthusiastic students. I believe education is the hope for the many poor in India. I plan to show this hope with the school children in juxtaposition to the street scenes.
The conjunction of the US and the Chinese work should be fascinating. I wish I could be there.