Tag Archives: Luxon Academy of Fine Arts

My Work in US/Chinese Feminist Exhibition

Laurie Says:

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.

The post last week focused on the work of three of the Chinese women. See these two previous posts for far more about the story of the exhibition.

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.

Nahamura Fumiko

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.

Brenda Oelbaum


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!”

Suzanne Beutler


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.

Chinese/US Feminist Exhibition in China

Laurie says:

(We’re still dealing with the after effects of the website being hacked. Hopefully things will be running smoothly soon.)

I wrote a while ago that my portrait of Fumiko Nakamura was part of an exhibit of Chinese and US women artists at the Luxon Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, China.  It’s an international project of the Women’s Caucus of the Arts.  It opens on April 15th in Shenyang.

The Luxun Academy of Arts was founded in 1938 by Communist Party of China leaders, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.

The theme “Women hold up half the sky” quotes Chairman Mao Zedong’s famous statement.  The intent is to explore the role that social practice art has in changing the world.  It’s an art-based cultural exchange and exhibition between US artists and essayists juried through the WCA and women artists curated in China.

I wanted to focus in this post on the work by the Chinese artists.  It’s a beautiful collection of diverse work.  This was the work that spoke to me the most at the moment.

Liu Zhi Yin

liu zhi yin

Born After 1980 Sculpture

As the first generation born under China’s one child policy, We grew up alone, in our own mental world. Our creative works are based more on personal experiences, feelings, but we also incorporate a number of popular visual elements, symbols found in fashion or cartoon. I blend all the ingredients together and use a cartoonish visual schema to describe life, capturing the souls of my generation and emphasizing a kind of self-analysis and individual experience. My work looks pretty even though it vaguely reveals sad feelings. In a metaphorical way, I want to present the loneliness, uncertainty and dullness felt by the born after 80’s generation, behind our prosperous material life style.

Jiang Xiao Mei


jiang xiao mei

Creative concepts: the Prosperous World series is made from ancient Chinese coins, using transparent fishing line to tie bronze coins together and form an image of either a chair or clothing. A chair symbolizes a position of power. Clothing symbolizes beauty and splendor. The work, being sealed in a transparent protective shield, gives an impression of grandeur and prosperity. However, the overall shape is very fragile. If each individual coin changes position, the chair and clothing can be easily destroyed. The sense of instability represents the relationship between money, power and prosperity.

Yuan Jia

Yuan Jia

The Prelude of Resurrection Sculpture

In my work, modeling and shaping wood is not the point. The mastery of the texture and characteristics of wood as a medium is not of much significance to me. The desire that leads me to realize a certain feel for a piece of work comes from my love for decorative structures that can only exist in the virtual world of wood in my memory. Through the paradox and the emotional dislocation felt in my work, I try to convey something dramatic that resembles an experience of sudden acquisition of a noble sense of purpose.

I’m delighted to be part of this exhibition and I’ll be writing about the US artists next time.