Hello, ladiez! Mugging with curator Pauline Yao in Beijing, April 2007.
Last year I had the opportunity to work on an exhibition in Beijing that curator Pauline Yao (based in San Francisco and Beijing) put together called “Forged Realities.” Held at UniversalStudios Gallery, it was a great experience and I had the chance to mingle and meet with a few stars of the local Beijing scene. Folks who were jetsetting across the globe to this biennial and that triennial and living like virtual rockstars. The art market in China has inflated itself with a vengeance, and everyone is whisperingly wondering when the bubble will pop.
Amidst all the pomp and grandeur of the Chinese artworld, it became super apparent to me how few women artists I was meeting. Not to mention that the male artists, while always friendly and warm, thought me something of a curiosity. Young and female were not necessarily too common qualities in the artists they were meeting. Add to that my Asian heritage, and I wasn’t representing their idea of a what a Western artist was like. While I never had a straightforward conversation about this topic with any artist I met while there, I could sense that it was essentially… still a man’s artworld.
So it was nice to read this article, which in some way, starts to highlight those who have been steadily and actively working in the background. But hopefully not for long.