性別與身份（gender and identity）的議題，在當代藝術領域中一直佔據著很大篇幅，尤其是1980年代之後，因為全球化的擴展與衝擊，越來越多的藝術家關注身體與性別的駁雜性（hybridity）與流動性（fluidity），鬆動原始的性別男女二元論的認知，解構對於性別的刻板印象，呼應著當下「後性別主義/postgenderism」的探論與梳理。而女權運動在當代藝術的創作主題，也從20世紀中期的女性主義（feminism）所指涉的女人（women），透過許多藝術家的創作積累，伴隨著社會運動與性別平權，推演至當下泛指具有「陰柔特質」（femininity）的對象與角色，著重於自我覺察與認同，而不僅僅只是先天的生理構造，或是社會性別的框架產物。
“Winter Mountain, Rain and Sea: Contemporary Female Artists of Yilan” is a deep look into Yilan’s past, present, and future, with Yilan’s cultural features and landscapes as well as the memories and narratives of Yilan’s female artists, who have turned their affection for their hometown into exploration into contemporary art, enriching it with aesthetic depths and diverse innovations. With their keen sensitivities, the artists interpret their cultural memories of and emotional conversations with their hometown through varying media to evoke a strong bond with the land.
Featuring twelve female artists based in Yilan, this exhibition focuses on contemporary female artists. With the year 2022 as an entry point, based on the unique locale of the Yilan Museum of Art, through art exhibitions and educational events, we reflect the achievements of Taiwanese female artists in history while organizing and publishing information on female artists of Yilan.
Gender and identity have always been prominent issues in contemporary art. Since the 1980s, in particular, with the expansion and impact of globalization, more and more artists have turned their attention to the hybridity and fluidity of body and gender, undermining the old binary perception of gender and deconstructing gender stereotypes, responding to the ongoing exploration and analysis of postgenderism. Subject matters in contemporary art that are related to the feminist movement have evolved from the women referred to in the feminism of the mid-20th century to figures and characters with femininity in general, thanks to the bodies of work of many artists, along with social and gender equality movements. The focus has shifted to self-awareness and identity, instead of merely the anatomy that one is born with or products of social constructs.
The title of the exhibition, “Winter Mountain, Rain and Sea,” comprise elements taken from the questionnaire survey conducted by the curator on the artists, who reveal their personal lives and their memories of Yilan. The artists’ subjective experiences have replaced the society’s existing ways of viewing and reading women. Thus, besides establishing a platform for contemporary female artists of Yilan to showcase their work, a goal of this exhibition is, by way of curation, attempt to redefine the roles of women in art history and reflect the diverse perspectives on gender and identity in contemporary art in the 21st century.
The featured artists are Li Ia-Wen, Lee Wei, Li Fei-Wen, Lin Szu-Ying, Kuo Hui-Chan, Liang Hsiao-Chin, Yu Hsing-Shan, Huang Hsiang-Chih, Yang Lin, Tsai Min-Yun, Lu Yen-Yu, Chien Yin-Ru. Some of them were born and raised in Yilan; the others live and create art in Yilan. The media they use range widely, from painting, ink wash, sculpture, ceramics, imagery, composite materials, to installations. Their subject matters are also diverse, taken from their own creative experiences as well as contemporary issues. Through this exhibition, the Yilan Museum of Art hopes to redefine the historical significance of local art museums in relation to issues of contemporary art in this post-pandemic era.