Liao Wen

Liao Wen
b. 1961, Beijing
Curator, art critic
Graduating from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature of Beijing Normal University in 1984, Liao Wen became editor of the weekly newspaper Zhongguo meishubao [Fine Arts in China] in 1986 and an independent critic after the newspaper’s closure in 1989. While working as an assistant to exhibitions curated by Li Xianting which mainly involved male artists, she began questioning women’s role in the art world. The search for female expressions in art practice resulted in two exhibitions that she curated in Beijing: ‘Woman’s Approach to Chinese Contemporary Art’ (1995) and ‘Woman and Flower’ (1997). In the companion essays, Liao Wen analysed the gender issue concerning women artists. She considered the direct importation of a woman’s subtle and intimate feelings into artwork to be a ‘silent subversion’ and ‘undercurrent of turmoil’ which reflects, in Liao’s view, the awakening of a female consciousness unfiltered and uncontaminated by public language codes set by men. Between 1996 and 1997 she published a book, Feminism as a Method (Nüxingzhuyi zuowei fangshi). In 1998, as curator of the TEDA Contemporary Art Museum in Tianjin, she organized its inaugural exhibition, ‘Personal Touch’ (Liangxing pingtai). In 1999, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, Liao Wen spent six months in the USA, where she visited numerous women artists, and in 2000 she published a collection of her interviews, No More Good Girls—Interviews with American Feminist Artists (Bu zai you hao nühai le—Meiguo nüxing zhuyi yishujia fangtanlu).
Liao, Wen (1995).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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