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Chinese Women Artists at War

"Chinese Women Artists at War," presented by Professor Amanda Wright, University of South Carolina

Open and free to the public

March 19, 4:00pm - 5:30pm

White Hall 103, Emory University

Once media darlings and local celebrities, women artists struggled mightily to retain their careers during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Despite unprecedented occupational gains in the early twentieth century, Chinese women witnessed the hardships of wartime unravel their accomplishments and undermine even the most persistent of career efforts. Impoverished living conditions and the constant threat of air raids reduced many women’s activities to supportive roles while male artists monopolized professional resources and recognition. Even still, a few women painters managed to stage painting exhibitions in refugee cities and in the Japanese-occupied areas of Shanghai and Beijing. Other female artists turned to activism, maintaining their careers by reinventing themselves as cartoonists on the front lines. Women’s contributions during the war years, however, remain largely neglected within an emergent interest in the Republican-period (1911-1949) art world. Tracing the professional options available at that time, Dr. Wright’s talk reconstructs the conditions in which female artists worked and highlights some of the artworks that they produced.

About the speaker:

Amanda S. Wright is Assistant Professor of East Asian art history at the University of South Carolina. She is currently working on a book about Republican-period women artists as a 2014-2015 Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Post-Doctoral Fellow at Emory University.