Li Hou

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Zhang Gan

Second Advisor

Agnes Berecz


Western feminist movements have experienced three waves, the second of which
triggered the germination of feminist art. At the same time, China's has undergone earth-shaking changes after the economic reform and opening-up in 1978. Influenced by Western feminist thought and the development of feminist art, a group of artists who paid special attention to the topic of "women" emerged in the 1990s. However, since China has not formed a systematic theoretical basis of feminism, nor has there been a truly independent feminist movement, Chinese art circle formed its indigenous interpretation of feminism and feminist art based on its own social, cultural, and political background. Some artists and critics avoid the identity of feminist and focus on the rediscovery and revaluation of women’s art, while another voice points out that such artworks emphasizing femininity only admit the difference between men and women, indirectly affirm the gender hierarchy, and disguise women’s art for the sake of feminist art. This thesis adopts literature research and case analysis on the artworks created by ten Chinese artists in order to introduce the development of contemporary Chinese feminist art from three perspectives including women's body, identity, and queer art. Discussions on the predicament and prospections of Chinese feminist art are
provided in the conclusion. The position adopted by this thesis is to advocate the
Chinese contemporary art circle to consolidate feminist theories and broaden their
perspectives on feminist art, and at the same time to inherit the explorative spirit
displayed by Western feminist movement, so as to construct Chinese feminist art with a more open and inclusive mentality.