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NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists Vol. 1

NOW is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. The transformative impacts of societal change have opened new, transcultural, possibilities for female artists working today.

Launching in February 2018 in partnership with the China National Art Fund and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, the programme includes exhibitions at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern ArtNottingham Contemporary and Turner Contemporary (Margate) an artist film series from HOME (Manchester) and a symposium hosted by Tate Research Centre: Asia (London).

A two-part moving image programme has been curated by Bren O’Callaghan, Senior Producer HOME Visual Art and independent curator.

Striking, beguiling, sometimes disturbing yet always rewarding, the selection provides evidence that cultural difference is often much less than we might presume. The two programmes address notions of modernity, tradition and technique; incorporating performance, pen and ink,  stop-motion animation, moving portrait and photographic techniques, choreography, new media art and experimental digital SFX, documentary and archive footage.

VOL 1

Peng Yun
Miss Melissa and Mr Fish at 2:31p.m., 2013
7.47
An artful tableaux of exotic flowers and a muscular dead fish combines feminine symbolism with masculine presence. A woman’s hand enters the frame, massaging; a startlingly sexual encounter that soon becomes aggressive, active, urgent – and destructive.

Miao Ying
Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality, 2016
10.46
Chinese live streaming platforms allows live commentary from observers which rewards those transmitting with paid donations. As income streams become more lucrative, hosts compete for attention; here ranging from a cosplayer in student uniform singing baby-girl karaoke to roasting and eating rats.

Ma Qiusha
Rainbow, 2013
3.33
A chromatic contrast between red and white echos the flush of puberty at the intersection of innocence and experience in Ma Qiusha’s Rainbow; young girls dressed in white play ring-a-ring o’ roses within a ruby dew spattered tableaux.

Hu Xiaoyuan
Bang, 2015
2.09
Bang features two people and balloons enclosed inside a flesh-coloured translucent slip as they roll from the left side of view to the right. The struggling, shoving and turning are accompanied by the rub of the balloons in this anxious caterpillar-crawl.

Chi Jang Yin
Hannah and The Crystal Ball, 2010
3.16
The Kodak Company commissioned the artist to shoot a single roll of film, with all editing in-camera. The commonplace becomes magical, shadows adopt architectural form, sunlight refracts through glassware and spilt fluid.

Yao Qingmei
Solar spectrum: Ballet of the Night I, 2016
8.01
A ballet dancer uses her phone-cam to both observe and record an official portrait of Louis XIV displayed in the Louvre Museum, combining gestures used by tourists to take photographs.

Wang NewOne
HIVE-10468723, HIVE-10774896, HIVE-12006950, HIVE-12467538, HIVE-14499801, HIVE-18600423 (2015)
7.25
The artist uses 3D modelling to create distinctive and unsettling digital close-ups of humanoid faces with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Through this practice, Wang NewOne re-thinks the ontological existence of humanity within both the real and online worlds.

See here for further information and booking details for Vol. 2