VCA ArtSpace, University of Melbourne
REFRAMING REPRESENTATIONS OF WOMEN IN CONTEMPORARY CHINA
26 – 29 June 2018
My practice-led research project investigates the ideologies that encourage many young Chinese women to undergo unnecessary even harmful non-therapeutic cosmetic surgeries to alter their appearance in order to conform to dominant standards of “female beauty ideals” in contemporary Chinese society. This research will historically examine how changing ideologies find form in the representations of women from the 20th century to the present. The current standards of beauty in China are formed by ideologies that are influenced by global consumerism, Chinese dominant conceptions of feminism as “feminine-ism”, patriarchal ideas of ideal female beauty in Confucianism, as well as Chinese male (heterosexual) desire influenced by the idealized female images, particularly as presented in the traditional genre of European nude painting. This in-depth study complements my own paintings, photographs, and videos, in which I present the visible impulse to these invisible ideologies that have begun to change women’s bodies.