Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

Women and the Contemporary in Asian Art and Performance

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Rudraksha, Lower Ground Floor

This panel explores contemporary art and performance making in Asia from the optic of women artists’ articulations of the politics of gender and cultural hybridity. Looking across dance, theater, and the visual arts, the panel brings into conversation scholarship on Cambodia, China, India and Thailand, as well as Japanese and Vietnamese diasporic populations, to examine how women reinvent and reposition their gendered identities and their relationship to local cultures and vernacular expressions as they travel across artistic media and public. Women are creators, collaborators, and mentors whose labors invariably dislodge fantasies of tradition and femininity at the service of bold aesthetic proposals and social critique. As such they are central to the ongoing construction of what constitutes contemporaneity in artistic practice in Asia. As the panel’s case studies suggest, women artists’ work often emerges at the intersection of a series of contradictions. With respect to gender, women both reproduce and resist the very category of “woman,” employing gender strategically to gain access to funds and spaces, even as they interrogate assumptions about women as vulnerable or the idea that gender identity should be the most salient impetus and theme for women’s artworks. With respect to source materials and lineages, women artists’ engagement with traditional practices is intimately linked to their global life experiences, commitment to hybridity, and participation in international networks of audiences, students, and presenters.

Shanti Pillai

California State University, United States

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Shanti Pillai

California State University, United States

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Shanti Pillai

California State University, United States

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SanSan Kwan

University of California, United States

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Emily Wilcox

University of Michigan, United States

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Clare Veal

LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

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