This part discusses the productive value and creative production of women in society nowadays by examining the role transitions of female artists in housework and social practice. Women involving in labor bear both domestic and social responsibilities, and their labor is often complex, various and repeated. They produce social value through their hard and persistent work in social positions, and they also produce unquantifiable labor value in family life. However, the latter is sometimes concealed in the former. By making aprons at home into an individualized and tangible labor form, CHANG Yuchen reflects on this phenomenon in her work “Use Value (a patch of land)”, in which she explores the connection between the social value of women artists’ work and the value of their artistic creation. Meanwhile, there are also artists who demonstrate the creativity of women nowadays through various practices that are social engaging. Duoni LIU is an advocator who always introduces art into the community, doing lots of performances in the streets and alleys that interacts with the public; Jennifer Wen MA’s work “Threading The Sky” provides an artistic experience that is of strong tension through her skillful use of the space of the museum.

The work of the artists in this part presents strong contradiction and difference, but also remarkable beauty and delicacy.

Chun Hua Catherine DONG

Keywords: Time, Space, Physical Reality, Virtual Reality, Inner World

Chun Hua Catherine DONG, born in Yue Yan city, Hu Nan province, China, currently lives and works in Montreal city, Canada. She received her B.F.A. from Emily Carr University Art & Design in 2011, her M.F.A. from Concordia Universtiy. She received Cultural Diversity Award in Visual Art Award from Conseil des arts de Montréal in 2021.  Identity is a major theme in her work. She often uses the body as a visual territory in her work and a primary material to activate social commentary on gender, identity, and immigration. In her works, she attempts to explore the subtle boundaries between art and technology. 

“Meet Me Half Way” explores the perception of time and space in virtual reality and the inability to return to the present from searching the inner world. I brought my new passion towards abstraction and my childhood memories into VR space and create imaginary worlds that can be experienced both in virtual and in real life. This work also reflects the current unsettling situation in which we live: the uncertainty, the isolation, the frustration of being confined in our own inner worlds, not be able to “meet” because the “halfway” is always in process and cannot be measured by time and space.

Duoni LIU

Keywords: Fun To Watch, Culture Mixed, Interdisciplinary, Focused On Social Issues, Exciting

Duoni LIU, born in Shanghai, China, currently lives and works in Cologne and Bielefeld, Germany. She was a student in Conservatory of Music of Shanghai Normal University from 2009 to 2014. She received her B.A. in Electronic Composition from Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in Cologne, Germany in 2017, and her M.A. in 2021. She was invited as an erhu to perform string concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been invited several times to perform her works at the Acht Brücken Cologne Contemporary Music Festival, “Donaueschinger Musiktage”, etc. She was awarded the best young female composer by Gender Equality Commission in 2016 and won the third prize of International composition competition in Acht Brücken Köln in 2021. She is a musician and performance artist. Her work often explores the boundary of art through composition, performance, action and lecture.

The “Oops! I dropped my” series aims to bring closer the high art and the public by “introducing contemporary art into community”. It is a discussion of the relationship between the artist, the community and the participating public.

“At Ten O’clock, Ten Lions had just Arrived” imitates the human voice of speaking Chinese through musical instruments, and uses musical instruments to play Chinese characters. In foreign countries I has often been asked if “mother, fiber, horse and curse” (the four characters are the same in terms of pronunciation) sound different in Chinese. The foreigners could not correctly imitate the four tones of Chinese character, and this is where I find my inspiration for this work. 

CHANG Yuchen

Keywords: Use, Value, Circulation, Stillness, Cao Zhongda-Style Garment Lines

CHANG Yuchen, born in Shanxi Province, China. She currently lives and works in New York, US. She received her B.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2011 and her M.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She attended several residency programs, including NARS x Governors Island in New York in 2021. She received the Luminarts Cultural Foundation Grand Prize in Chicago in 2012. She is an artist who is concerned with every poetry, memory and the strong life of all women. She also works as an educator at Center for Book Arts, Printed Matter and other non-profit organizations. 

“Use Value” is an experimental brand that I founded in 2016, in which the labor of hands is converted into money, while purchase and possession is regarded as love. The price of each product, namely the exchange value, is calculated by the following formula: the average hourly wage of all of Chang Yuchen's part-time jobs till now, times the number of hours Chang Yuchen spent working on this project, plus the cost of raw materials. Use Value believes that art does not exist only in galleries or art museums, but also in the everyday acts. Use Value measures the artist's work by universal socio-economic standards. Currently, three series have been released under the brand Use Value: Backpack, Apron and Veil. The Apron that would be exhibited in this exhibition is inspired by domestic labor: its day-to-day rhythms, its delicate and sophisticated choreography, its solitude and pleasure.

Jennifer Wen MA

Keywords: Art Happens When it Finds Resonance within the Viewer.

Jennifer Wen MA, born in Beijing, China, currently lives and works in New York, US and Beijing, China. She received her B.A. from Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts in 1993, and her M.A. from Pratt Institute, New York. Her works have been exhibited in lots of well-known art institutions around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The National Art Museum of China, Sydney Opera House, etc. She is also experienced in the creation, curating and producing of major events. She was on the core creative team for the opening and closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, as well as the director of visual effect and art design. She is a visual artist who brings together unlikely elements and constantly breaks the traditional category system, to create sensitive, poetic and poignant works in a productive and interdisciplinary way.

This installation transforms a functional passageway into an artistic experience for the viewer. The hall is lined with white-paper sculptures on one side, and black-paper sculptures on the other, tightening an already narrow space around the viewer, to provide a heightened experience. Plant-formed paper sculptures turn and twist upwards towards the skylight ceiling, as if reaching for sunlight. At the upper reach of the sculptures, the two sides stretch out for but not quite obtaining each other. Their near-miss or near-connection create a thin line of void at the top of the tunnel created by the installation. It references The Creation of Adam, painted by Michelangelo, the moment before God gives Adam life. The installation is at an arrested state of development right before merging of the black and white, yin and yang, when the creative life forces are engaged and activated. The tension creates a simple but powerful moment, and the sliver of negative space describe by the void of the sculpture, make space for creative imagination for the viewer. (In Memory of Ma Qiyun.)