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WHY exhibition : A supplement to feminism

First of all, WHY exhibition is about the source of negative emotions of unmarried and childless women in China. There are actually two reasons why I think about the negative emotions of this group. The first reason is objective factors. I have not collected works related to pregnancy, children, aging and so on. And I only received support from Chinese artists, not artists from other countries. Therefore, the theme is limited to the negative emotions of unmarried and childless Chinese women. The second reason is that I myself am in this stage, a very confused and painful stage. I didn’t know why I was having such negative feelings every day, so I made a questionnaire to ask women at my stage if they were confused and sad. The answer is that there are many sources of distress for women at this stage, such as family trauma.

Secondly, the feminist movement started a long time ago. Feminism took the lead in the United States and Europe. At present, feminist art has become a brand new global artistic phenomenon.  “The impact of women artists on the contemporary art movement has resulted in a powerful and innovative feminist reworking of traditional approaches to the theory and history of art. ” Mentioning contemporary art and negative emotions reminds me of the artist Yayoi Kusama. To some extent, Yayoi Kusama is a contemporary female artist with great influence. In the early days, her House of Mirrors was filled with polka-dotted models of male reproduction. (figure 1)And could these genitals be interpreted as a visceral fear of male authority? Don’t these spots have anything to do with her miserable childhood and psychological problems? I think there’s a connection. Therefore, whether the emphasis on female psychology can be understood as an important social problem and topic. “women’s exposure to traumatic events results in significant psychological harm that gives rise to a number of mental health symptoms, including difficulties in regulating affect, problems in relating to others, and alterations in self- perception. ” (Herman, 2015) Women suffer from different causes of psychological trauma and the degree of injury, the mental illness is also different. Women’s mental health is also an issue that needs attention, which is why the works on display in this exhibition are negative rather than positive.

Figure 1 Infinity Mirror Room

Finally, the combination of feminist and contemporary exhibitions has already happened. Feminist exhibition is no longer a strange thing in contemporary art. For example, Cooling Out – On the Paradoxes of Feminism is a contemporary feminist exhibition curated by Sabine Schaschl-Cooper, Bettina Steinbrugge and Rene Zechlin. To some extent, this exhibition studies whether there is ambivalence or rejection of feminism among young feminist artists and the connotation of feminism. In addition, feminist exhibitions are also held in major Spaces in the field of contemporary art worldwide. The fifty-first Venice Biennale is called the so-called feminist Biennale. “These exhibitions are in stark contrast to the usual alternative non-traditional venues for first exhibitions, usually directed by the women’s liberation movement.” (Robinson, n.d.)Feminists created their works of art and exhibitions in the contemporary art stage in order to communicate what they wanted to express.



Herman, J. L. (2015) Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York: Basic Books.

Isaak, JA 1996, Feminism and Contemporary Art : The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Laughter, Taylor & Francis Group, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [3 May 2023].

Robinson, H. (n.d.). Feminism Meets the Big Exhibition: Museum Survey Shows since 2005 – ONCURATING. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2023].

Week 13 Exhibition demolition

Since WHY is a virtual reality exhibition, there is no demolition work only need to delete on the Internet. So in this week’s blog I’ll talk about the marketing part that wasn’t mentioned in the reflection.

In WHY exhibition, the main way I used to promote the virtual reality exhibition was through social media. I publicized the relevant content of WHY on my personal social accounts, such as links. But it didn’t work out so well. As of April 22, the exhibition had only 28 views. (Figure 1) This made me realize that lack of good publicity is one of the reasons for project failure. In addition, I also realized that in the process of social media promotion, the virtual reality exhibition should not just add a link to the exhibition on the poster, because the link is not a particularly convenient way for people to open the exhibition. It is best to attach the two-dimensional code of the exhibition, so that public can open the exhibition quickly. Therefore, in the future curation process, I will choose to use different publicity methods to enhance the attraction of the exhibition before the exhibition starts.Figure 1 WHY exhibition views

The reason why the exhibition is online is because of transportation problems. Since some oil paintings of this time are all in China, I am worried that the artists’ works will be damaged in the process of transportation, so I choose virtual  reality exhibition. As a result, I did not experience some laborious disassembly work in this exhibition. I hope that if I have the opportunity to plan another exhibition, I will choose the physical  exhibition to reflect the links of installation and disassembly.

That is all for this week’s blog, thanks for reading.

Week 12 :Reply to Yi Rongfan’s peer review

I was honored to receive a peer review of the WHY exhibition from Yirong Fan, and I gained a lot from her comments. So this week’s blog will respond to the questions raised by Yirong.

First question: Why did you choose this topic and what motivated you?

At the beginning of my personal project, I just planned to curate an exhibition about negative emotions, and I wanted to invite artists from different countries and regions, different genders, different ages and others to participate in this exhibition. Unfortunately, due to my limited social range, I only invited a few female artists from China. So I narrowed it down to women in China. In addition, during the collection of works, I did not collect works related to pregnancy and children, so I further limited the theme to the negative emotions of Chinese women who are neither married nor pregnant. In a nutshell, it’s a younger woman who was at my stage. These women may be in college or just entering the workforce. So, to some extent, it’s not that I chose the topic, but that objective factors led me to choose the topic.

Yirong’s second question: You say that your project is about the connection between feminism and contemporary art, but it seems that you never talked about any feminist theory relevant to this exhibition and ignored the context of feminist art today.

I really appreciate Yirong asking this question, and it’s true that I haven’t explored much about feminism in my past blogs. I’m just repeating the topic of White Cube. As I mentioned before, due to objective reasons, the theme is positioned as feminism and negative emotions. I didn’t know about feminism until I curated this exhibition. When I saw the article about feminist art shared by Yirong, my shortcomings and deficiencies were thoroughly exposed and I began to know more about feminist content. Like reading the article Yirong shared.

Yirong’s third question is about the questionnaire.

The questionnaire is one of the determining factors for the direction of art collection. Questionnaire is a communication mode to help me directly understand the source of negative emotions of the target group. As Krosnick (2018) mentioned, questionnaire is certainly a method of conversation, and interviewees are not aware of the difference between the rules of such conversation and those of standard conversation. Therefore, in this project, I use the questionnaire as the carrier of research questions to research the source of negative emotions of the target population.

As for the questionnaire, I think I can directly send the screenshot of the final conclusion of the questionnaire, which can answer many questions for me.(figure 1)The questionnaire was aimed at women in China who are currently neither married nor child-bearing. The survey asked: For you, what is the cause of most of your negative emotions? The questionnaire was conducted in a bilingual format, that is, Chinese and English.

Figure 1: A screenshot of the questionnaire

Yirong’s fourth question:I’m curious about the communication with your artists. How did you find their art and contact them? How was your communication with them? Have you encountered any difficulties?

First of all, according to the feedback of the questionnaire, I mainly collected six artworks of negative emotions. I classified study pressure, work pressure and economic pressure into life pressure. Secondly, as I mentioned before, it’s not a particularly easy thing for me to invite artists but it’s certainly not a very difficult thing to do. I post my search for artists on all of my social media, and I also initiate artist communication on those social platforms. The end result was that I got their support. It’s important for me to be proactive in looking for opportunities to collaborate.

That’s all for my Yirong peer review new, thanks for reading.



Krosnick, J.A. (2018). Questionnaire Design. In: Vannette, D., Krosnick, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Week 11

This week’s blog is devoted to sharing the progress of the WHY Virtual Reality exhibition and the new floor plan. The space and plan of WHY exhibition have been changed this week, because I found that the space and plan created in the 10th week were not effective, so the layout and plan of artworks and the link of WHY exhibition have been changed in the 11th week.

First of all, WHY exhibition is an online virtual reality exhibition, and the link to the exhibition is

Secondly, this is the current state of WHY online exhibitions.

Finally, this is the new floor plan for the WHY exhibition.In conclusion, the wall and floor of this week’s WHY exhibition are no longer White Cube style, which is because I have encountered some problems when building the 3D model. Due to some parameter problems, I cannot upload the 3D model of WHY that has been built to the spatial website. Therefore, in order to solve the problem of the model this week, I can only create the WHY exhibition based on the 3D models provided by Spatial website. I’m sorry for not being able to turn the 3D model I built into a virtual reality exhibition. In addition, since the 3D model has changed, the floor plan also needs to be changed, so I made a new floor plan this week.

Thanks for reading.







Week 10

The content of this week’s seminar is to further verify the working process of each group on the Collective exhibition. As the Schedule&Communication group, I had already released the form in the Team and collected all the exhibition information of everyone in the ninth week. This information includes topics, titles, curators, locations and times. However, according to the discussion in the seminar, the information of some students was not accurate, and they also needed to change their Schedule&Communication forms. In the seminar, our group and Beth confirmed the deadline of March 31st this week. Therefore, I released a deadline information about Schedule&Communication form in the Team. (figure 1)

Figure 1 Screenshot in Team

In addition, the WHY online exhibition this week is being modeled. Figure 2 shows the WHY exhibition’s artwork on the love factor Entanglement. In addition to this part of the exhibition, there are many roses placed around, because roses represent love to some extent, but their thorns also represent pain. So there are currently roses placed around Qing Wang’s Entanglement.

Figure 2 Entanglement artworks at WHY exhibition



First of all, what impressed me most about the study in the gallery was Julie Louise’s suggestion that when selecting works of art, what stories should I tell with the works of art? Then I thought to select details to explain the story and hint at things in other people’s lives. This has inspired me to continue exploring this week how I can use the art I’ve collected so far to tell stories related to my subject. Because, in my opinion, the story line in the exhibition is a very important link. In addition, I noticed that there are some real plants in The Accursed Share exhibition, not plastic plants. Plants are a very colorful part in the space, but relatively it will also cause some trouble for the curator. Although, it is now possible to buy plants from different places all over the world. However, when plants are placed in the exhibition hall, the living environment of plants should be taken into account, such as illumination, temperature, humidity, survival time, growth rate, arrangement mode, etc. The curators also had water to consider. Plants cannot grow without water. If the water in the flower pot spills out during the exhibition, how to quickly treat the ground is a headache. (figure 1)

Figure 1 Photographed at Talbot Rice Gallery

The second part is the floor plan of WHY exhibition. During week 9, I worked on the floor plan. This is because the exhibition was held online, which required me to consider and design a new space. I finalized the floor plan this week.(figure 2)

Figure 2 A floor plan of WHY exhibition

The final part is my role in collective work this week. I made a schedule, then urged everyone to fill in and set a deadline for the final form. In addition, I also raised the issue of space renewal during the group meeting.(figure 3)Obviously, the group work will be easier for me this week. Because I am good at making tasks and releasing information, I am also adaptable to the cooperation of team members in the Schedule&Communication team.

Figure 3  The table published by Jiahui Li on Team

In addition, I uploaded the final Excel to the Planning documents of Curating 2023.(figure 4)

Figure 4 This is a screenshot of the upload

Thanks for reading.



week 8 peer review

This is a peer review after watching a video of Ruxue Li ‘s presentation about her project. It’s a great honor to hear about Ruxue Li ‘s project. My peer review is mainly divided into six parts. The first part is about purpose of the Ruxue Li ‘s project, the second part is about the vision of Ruxue Li ‘s project, and so on.

First of all, through your presentation, you explained that the purpose of the project is to find local elements in your hometown to spread the national culture of your hometown and cause people to reflect on the traditional culture. I think this is a very interesting and meaningful theme. I can imagine that on the day when your curatorial project is held, you can publicize the local elements of your hometown to people from different countries and regions in Edinburgh, and at the same time, you can encourage people to recall and learn from their own national culture, which is a very good idea.

The second part is the vision of your speech. You mentioned the way of combining family characteristics and clothing to form this project. This is an attractive point because clothing is a necessity for human life. And clothing is a good object to convey elements, taste and spirit.

Other than that, I think your project is very specific. What I mean is that you have worked out the whole process of the project, such as choosing to introduce a theme at the beginning of the project to liven things up. This is a great way to start a conversation and get people involved in your project quickly. Moreover, it is worth affirming that your project also includes feedback, which is the part I want to learn from you. feedback is indeed a particularly important part. We can get more experience from feedback and realize our shortcomings. Through your speech, I’m really looking forward to your project. And I believe that you have the ability to complete your project well, because you talked a lot about the process related to your activity in your speech. You’ve sorted out your venue, you’ve set the time, you’ve decided on artists and you’ve considered the audience.

The third part is about cultural elements. I heard you introduce some information about the Huangpu River. However, could you tell me more about the elements of your hometown that you will present this time? Like more historical context. I am looking forward to you introducing some more detailed elements of your hometown in your activities. You mentioned in the project plan of the seventh week that there are many districts in Shanghai, China besides the Bund and the Huangpu River like Qingpu District, and these places have splendid ancient culture. But what specific culture in the suburbs of Shanghai is your personal project related to? Is there anything special about this culture? Or do they just use clothing as a carrier to remind participants of their hometown’s traditional culture and make clothes? In addition, what kind of costume effect do you expect the participants to finish? Maybe all of these should be introduced.

The fourth part is about reference links. Ruxue Li’s activity reminds me of ClassBento, which is a place that often holds workshops and courses. They regularly hold activities related to clothes, such as elementary tailoring courses and embroidery courses. ClassBento is about a one day workshop on good resources, the hope that it may be useful to Ruxue Li activities, this is the link

The fifth part is answering the question. As for the question, I did not mention the question I needed to respond in your blog, and I have not received any message from your Team. If you have any questions or doubts about this peer review, please contact me. Thank you very much.

Finally, thank you very much for your speech and blog. Through your speech, I can clearly know the content and process of your project. Your project is very creative and meaningful. You did a good job. I am looking forward to your project. That’s all my peer reviews of your project.

week 8 curating rational

First a reflection on the theme. WHY‘s original theme was an exhibition of negative emotions, without restrictions on region, gender or age. But the range of topics is very large and only a small number of female artists from China have provided works for WHY exhibition. So I narrowed it down to women and negative emotions at the fifth week. In the sixth week, I still didn’t collect any works from artists outside China, so I decided to focus on contemporary Chinese women. In the seventh week, when I sorted out the artists’ works, I found that the works I collected did not include works with themes such as marriage and pregnancy, so in the seventh week, I further narrowed the theme to contemporary Chinese women who are neither married nor pregnant. In addition, I made a questionnaire on unmarried, childless women in contemporary China and posted it on my Chinese social media. According to the survey, the negative emotions of contemporary Chinese women who are neither married nor childless mainly come from six aspects: family trauma, love factor, interpersonal communication, life pressure, appearance anxiety and sexual harassment. Therefore, in the WHY exhibition, I will mainly display artworks from these six sources of negative emotions.

The second part is about the artist. At present,  I invited five contemporary artists from China to provide works of art related to these six sources. I would like to introduce artists and artworks about sexual harassment and life pressure. In the section on sexual harassment, the artist Jingshu Zhang told me about the sexually suggestive looks and language she feels around her when she wears a dress. This made her feel uncomfortable, so she created Dress, a dance work, and provided dance videos for the WHY exhibition. (figure 1)

Figure 1 Screenshot from Skirt dance video ©️Jingshu Zhang

In addition to Jingshu Zhang’s work, I would also like to share Siyuan Dong ‘s work Shangwei, an oil painting that tells the story of her confusion about whether she should pursue higher education in the face of the future. This artwork, created by Siyuan Dong after his undergraduate graduation, shows corridors and stairs that can be seen everywhere on the artist’s campus. And connects the staircase to the Utopian philosophy of Ernst Bloch, who said that the essence of life is “ambiguity.” To an artist, she is as uncertain as the end of a staircase.(Figure2)

Figure 2 ShangWei©️Siyuan Dong

The third part, which is very instructive and critical to me, is Theaster Gates, White Cube. This is because I plan to plan the online space of WHY in the way of White Cube, and use simple White walls with different brightness lights and display ways to highlight the artist’s works. “Particular to the white cube is that it operates under the pretense that its seeming invisibility allows the artwork best to speak; it seems blank, innocent, unspecific, insignificant. Ultimately, what makes a white cube a white cube is that, in our experience of it, ideology and form meet, and all without our noticing it.”  (Filipovic,2005) While browsing the website of Theaster Gates, White Cube, I found that most of their exhibitions and artworks are in the White Cube space. And against the White Cube, the artworks are in the centre. Therefore, I think Theaster Gates, White Cube is a good example to learn from.  In addition, I saw Feminism Ya Mang: Exhibition Video on Youtube.(Video 1) I saw that the wall of this exhibition is mostly pink, pink gives me a very gentle feeling. However, I want to use white walls to represent women, white can reflect all kinds of color light. We must admit that women’s spirit and survival ability are extremely strong. Therefore, I want to use white as a metaphor for women’s tolerance、strength and greatness. It’s worth noting that Feminist Ya Mang exhibition has a lot to teach me. For example, there are many items that women use in this exhibition hall, such as nail polish and wigs. In addition, the exhibition also uses different projectors and video playback devices. So, whether it’s the placement of objects or how the video is played, it’s very useful information for me.

Video 1: Feminism Ya Mang: Exhibition Video from Youtube

The last part is audience participation. First of all, since my personal project is held online, I will release information related to WHY exhibition on my social media one week before the exhibition, such as exhibition summary, artist information, etc. In addition, audience participation in group events. I will cooperate with the publicity team to publicize our collective activities to the public.


Reference list

Filipovic, Elena. “The global white cube.” The manifesta decade: Debates on contemporary art exhibitions and biennials in post-Wall Europe (2005): 63-84.











WHY exhibition progress in Week 7

First of all, in the seventh week, the theme of my exhibition changed from the original women to contemporary Chinese women who are unmarried and childless. And they did a questionnaire to get six sources of sadness from these women.

Secondly, I finished the design of my poster (figure 1)and main image (figure 2)in Week 6 and this week.Figure1 WHY exhibition posterFigure2 WHY exhibition main image

Finally, I finished all the dialogues with artists in the sixth week, and sorted out all the electronic dialogues in the seventh week. This is a link to my conversations with five artists: WHY exhibition conversation with artists

Please note that all content in this blog is prohibited from reprinting and use!🙏

Thanks for reading and understanding.



Reflection of Week 7: Three readings and Planning Collective Project

The first part is a reflection on the three readings.

First of all, BUZZCUT is an example from the first course material I selected. I was very interested in the HOTWORKS performance. HOTWORKS (figure 1) by InXestuous Sisters in BUZZCUT website reflects the feminism to some extent. “For Buzzcut, they will perform a post-punk act of personal-cum-communal catharsis. Watch them as they unapologetically air their dirty laundry before they burn down the house. A spring ritual of femme energy renewal – a dance on the ashes of intimacy.” (//BUZZCUT//, n.d.)  The project of InXestuous Sisters is about the trans-feminist attention to sisterhood and lesbian desire, while women are the main characters of my project. In this show, women’s dirty underwear is collected, which I think is a very bold and direct way to express sexuality and lesbianism.

Figure 1:photo credit Eda Sancakdar

The second site I really like is Transmediale. I like the typography and visual effects of this site, such as the use of irregular graphics as a guide sign. (figure 2) It also has a special article on holograms. I think if I needed to build a website for my show, it would be similar in style to transmediale. These irregular shapes and warm colors bring the reader closer to the site, making it more comfortable than cubes and black and white.

Figure2: The screenshot from

The last link is That’s because this week I went to see an exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, and I also saw a project at Glasgow International at the Glasgow Women’s Library. On this website, I saw a lot of exhibitions held in different places in Glasgow and had simple descriptions of the exhibitions, which was a good resource for me to read. At the same time, it also made me realize the importance of website. A good website can make the audience get the information they want more clearly.

The second part is this week’s Planning Collective Project. In the early part of the Seminar, since the theme of my exhibition was feminism and negative emotions, I was assigned to the Emotion/r relationship group according to the theme and filled out my own content in Miro in class. (Figure 3)In the second half of the Seminar, you will be asked to choose the role you want to play in the Collective Project. I choose the Schedule & Communication group, because I think the determination of time is an important part of the cooperation project. In addition, active and effective communication can make the Collective Project progress smoothly and quickly.

Figure 3 Fill in the Miro

That’s all for this  blog, thanks for reading.



Reference list

//BUZZCUT//. (n.d.). INXESTUOUS SISTERS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Mar. 2023].






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