Everyday women around the world are exposed to violence. The most severe hits the news headlines. But perhaps the most disturbing of these aggressions are those that are covert and even embraced by women.
From fashion magazines that promote the indiscriminate idolisation of waifs-thin models to movies that continue to sexualise female side kicks, from societies that justify battery of women in the name of honour, to cultures that deny women equal access to opportunities. Despite growing literacy and development, many Asian cultures continue to bind woman from realising their full potential.
This is not an exhibition that attempts to address the aggression. It is an attempt to raise its awareness. But more importantly it is a celebration of woman. It is about an appreciation of her beauty, an attempt to understand her soul. It is about raising the awareness of the subjugation of women, but at the same time, it is also about the stories of women who have challenged the mould.
As Hillary Clinton once said;
“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”
About the Art Works
Our artists certainly do not claim to be experts on women. And although the artworks may not provide any new insights on women, many of our artists, both man and women certainly have something to say about them.
Contemporary Nude has always been a favourite subject for Hein Thit from Myanmar However he has taken a step further and attempted to reveal the complex layers of female pysche – albeit with a more light hearted approach. This is done through the layering popular Burmese romance comics in his works as a simile for the age old social conditioning of gender roles. It is in contrast with Vietnam’s artist Bao Thih’s colourful impressionist works, which celebrate the man’s desire for the femme fatale in wanton passion.
Maw Thu Dan Nu from Myanmar addressed the commercial exploitation of feminine ideals through his signature style of highlighting social issues through glass reflections – from the display of sumptuous wedding gown for the dream wedding, to matching his-and-hers holiday beachwear to create the picture perfect honeymoon photo.
Digital media artist Naoko Tosa will release a special preview of her new work to commemorate International Women’s Day. Deep frozen flowers that symbolise the rigidity of gender roles, are aggravated and blown apart in this sensitively produced artwork. Harrowing as it may sound, there is a mesmerising beauty in the ‘destruction’. Perhaps it is sign of the things to come when binding gender roles are finally broken…
Sharing the Stories of 3 Women
Despite cultural pressures and social skepticism, Coco Chen took the leap of faith by taking the less travelled route of travelling independently around the world – from Jordon to Dubai, Nepal to Laos. She is amongst a growing group of young Chinese women who are now exerting their youthful exuberance and confidence.
At this show, Coco will showcase some of her stunning travel photographs and will be sharing her travel experiences and challenges as an independent female traveller. Come make an appointment with Coco at LWH Gallery on 8 and 15 March 2014.
Nadine is a young female artist living in Singapore. Despite growing up in one of Asia’s most open society, she grew up in an environment where conservative values pervade. “When I was young, I wanted to be a pilot but was told that females are not suited to be pilots. I felt that it was not right’, said Nadine.
Through highly intricate drawings, she challenges the gender stereotype, using strong geometric forms on female portraits, contrasting it with highly delicate and intricate motifs for the portrayal of the male gender.
Ren Yung, Singapore
Despite coming from an affluent family, Ren Yung from Singapore decides to strike it out on her on to start her own social enterprise that aims to positive impact in the communities she work with. Her company, aptly named “Matter”, produces block print fabrics with women in Rajasthan, India. Ren Yung believes that by giving village women the ability to earn their own income, we uplifting not just the women, we are uplifting their children, their family and ultimately the society.
During the show, LWH Gallery will showcase a selection of block prints fabrics created by the village women of Rajasthan. All nett proceeds of the sales of these fabrics will be donated to a charity supported by Matter.