LIN Tianmiao 林天苗 (Chinese, b. 1961) and WANG Gongxin 王功新 (Chinese, b. 1960). Here or There? No. 14, 2002. 14th from an album of 15 photographs, edition 38/50, 14 ⁷⁄₁₆ x 17 ⁵⁄₁₆ inches. Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs

Hung LIU (LIU Hung 刘虹, Chinese-born American, 1948-2021). Heart II, 2012. Mixed media, H. 60 x W. 41 inches. Gift of Artist Hung Liu and Trillium Graphics/David Salgado, 2018:25.24

XIAO Lu 肖鲁 (born 1962) Chinese; People’s Republic of China, n.d. [event: 1989], Dialogue-Shooting, Color photograph, printed later, H. 35 ½ x W. 46 ½ inches. Gift of the Jack and Susy Wadsworth Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photographs, 2018:38.2

Half the Sky: Women in Chinese Art

September 09, 2023 to July 07, 2024

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the University of Oregon’s Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS), the museum has organized a special exhibition entitled Half the Sky: Women in Chinese Art, referencing by Chairman Mao Zedong’s 1968 quotation “Women hold up half the sky,” meaning that they are the equal of men. The varied works on display attest to the remarkable resilience and creativity of women despite their relatively low status in traditional Chinese society due to Confucian and Buddhist value systems that deemed them to be inferior.

This installation draws primarily from the museum’s permanent collection and features Chinese paintings, calligraphy, prints, posters, photographs, textiles, and mixed-media works by and/or about women. Subjects include religious figures such as the Queen Mother of the West; dutiful female paragons of filial piety and women fulfilling gendered roles in silk production; historical figures and heroines of popular novels; anonymous beauties; modern role models disseminated through Communist propaganda; humanistic portrayals of anonymous photographic subjects, and futuristic visions. The artists represented include famed literati painter/calligrapher Guan Daosheng (1262-1319), modern artist Fang Zhaoling (1914-2006), political propaganda painters Li Fenglan (born 1933) and Zhou Sicong (1939-1996), inspirational Chinese-born American artist Hung Liu (1948-2021), pioneering avant-garde artists Li Shuang (born 1957) and Xiao Lu (born 1962), and contemporary photographer Lin Tianmiao (born 1961).

Half the Sky was organized by chief curator Anne Rose Kitagawa and will incorporate additional Chinese works over the course of the 2023-2024 academic year.