An opening reception for WOMEN我們 was held on Friday, November 15th at the College of Architecture + The Arts Miami Beach Urban Studios. The exhibition is the first at MBUS to highlight feminism and queer themes in contemporary Chinese art. However, WOMEN我們 includes both known and emerging artists, and features artists of both Chinese heritage and other ethnicities. The title plays with the English-Mandarin homophone meaning “women” and “we.” Appropriately, the title emphasizes a look into a woman’s role in Chinese culture, and a look into the role of women and the role of China in our global society.
WOMEN 我們 is curated by Abbey Chen (Curator and Artistic Director of the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco) and Dr. Alpesh K. Patel (Assistant Professor and Director of FIU’s MFA Program in Visual Arts), with the assistance of Brittni Winkler (a student working towards a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts: Curatorial Practice Major). Abby Chen, who migrated from mainland China to the United States in 1997, launched this exhibition in Shanghai and then travelled with it to San Francisco, before coming to Miami Beach. Regarding the subject matter of WOMEN我們, Chen said, “I think the gender queer issue plus feminism [are] interconnected…[T]hey are [not made] a priority, particularly in [talks] about what’s happening in China or in Chinese society, so I would like to highlight [them].” Chen explains that the show is not about the sexes, gender identifications, or sexual orientations of the artists themselves, but about focusing on a topic that frequently is avoided in discussion. In response to a question about whether or not she is overriding misconceptions about Chinese culture, Chen said, “No. I think I just bring some of the hidden ones forward….I really feel [there] are just a lot of voices that fade in the background.” She wants viewers of WOMEN我們 to learn that these voices are worth a listen.
WOMEN我們 runs until January 3rd, 2014, at Miami Beach Urban Studios: 420 Lincoln Rd. Suite 440, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Free and open to the public.