Initiated in 2013, I have been creating works that explore the complexities of women’s bewilderments in the context of Chinese patriarchal society. By investigating millennials, social biases, Internet culture and feminism theories, I address women’s rights and identities with photography, video, text and objects.
Influenced by the Second Wave feminist theorists, my practice questions the construction of femininity in the contemporary society. I am particularly concerned that women in China unconsciously follow the stereotypical gender expectations through the socio-political culture. And I also concerned with the power of social class differences and how it has divided women into different groups. In addition, women seem to have prejudice against each other and often objectify themselves to accommodate the patriarchy society. My video project, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion?” is focusing on China’s issue around birth control. I set up a post-abortion support group to illustrate how patriarchal mentality in culture consciously and unconsciously influences women. By means of interviews and researches, I created five characters with different social backgrounds to introduce problems and conflicts associated with women’s rights and identities. Through the conversation about their abortion experiences, I address how women submit to and blindly follow the patriarchal social standards. This work not only responds to the gender inequality, but also evokes women’s self-awareness on issues of being women in the current society.
Through the issue of women’s rights and the exploration of identity-construction, my way of working continues on identifying women’s autonomies. I believe that women should understand and be aware of their status in the social system. Instead of blindly following, they can consciously choose or reject the social expectations. In my most recent project, “A Work of Narrative Intimacy”, I started to challenge the stereotypes and taboos associate with feminism. By taking an intimate relationship as a subject, I juxtaposed a series of portraits, texts and objects in the photo book to represent the scenes of our events and my mental activities. Through the depiction of my relationship, I attempt to subvert stereotypes of feminists and reveal my self-identity as a woman. My intention of this work is to convey the importance of women’s autonomies and exemplify what Simone de Beauvoir said in The Second Sex, “The true problem for woman is to reject theses flights from reality and seek self-fulfillment in transcendence.”
I consider my practice in general as an investigation rather than a conclusion.