The Art of Life — Contemporary Art by Female Artists

Praise of Light I & Praise of Light II, 2020, tempera and oil on jute, 290 x 190 cm each © Leiko Ikemura and VG Bildkunst, 2022 / Photo: Philipp von Matt.

This exhibition at the Shandong Art Museum is the second stop of the 9th Beijing International Art Biennale's special exhibition The Art of Life — Contemporary Art by Female Artists. With the theme of the "Light of Life," the Biennale invites artists from all over the world to celebrate the dignity, energy, and glory of life through art.

Concurrent to the thematic exhibition, the Biennale sets up the special exhibition The Art of Life — Contemporary Art by Female Artists, which is dedicated to contemporary female art creations full of energy. The Biennale had a successful run and closed on February 15, and the special exhibition will be held at the Shandong Art Museum from March 8 to April 7. The opening date of the exhibition, International Women's Day, is also a tribute to the achievements and contributions of global women artists.

The Chinese title of the exhibition is borrowed from the classic poem of British poet Siegfried Sassoon, "In me the tiger sniffs the rose," which is intended here to convey the juxtaposition of gentleness and power, as well as the coexistence of delicacy and expansiveness in the lives of female artists. A total of 11 well-known female artists from home and abroad are invited to participate in this exhibition, including: Chen Xi, Shen Ling, Peng Wei, Xiang Jing, Yan Ping, Yu Hong, and Zhang Yan Zi from China; Annette Sauermann (Germany), Leiko Ikemura (Switzerland), Rexidan Eli (Canada), and Rose Wylie (UK).

The participating artists come from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Their careers span close to 40 years, as many of them have personally experienced contemporary feminist art practices since the 1980s, using their works as humanistic mirrors of social history, presenting constructive reflections on the body, gender, cultural traditions, and moral power, and demonstrating a grand vision and independent power in their creations. In their works, local cultural memories, socio-historical perspectives, popular cultural imagery, and the artists' individual experiences inspire and fuse with one another, both within and outside of the female identity, showcasing the diverse perspectives and vigorous vitality of contemporary female art creation.

Stemming from an international perspective, the exhibition focuses on the creative practices of the most contemporary and representative female artists from China and abroad, and conducts a open dialogue on a shared platform to grasp the problems commonly faced by contemporary women; as well as the latest dynamics of artistic creation. It also attempts to respond to international artistic trends, taking this opportunity to explore the intrinsic relationships among various social backgrounds, cultural contexts, social mechanisms, and the relationship between the female identity and artistic creation. These explorations contribute to the development of new research paradigms, proffering examples of "Chinese experience" for the creation and research of women's art through the mutual exchange and learning among cultures.


Participating artists:

Annette Sauermann (Germany)
Chen Xi (China)
Leiko Ikemura (Switzerland)
Peng Wei (China)
Rexidan Eli (Canada)
Rose Wylie (U.K.)
Shen Ling (China)
Xiang Jing (China)
Yan Ping (China)
Yu Hong (China)


Curatorial team:

Academic advisor:

FAN Di'an, Chairman of China Artists Association and President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)


ZHANG Zikang, Director of the CAFA Art Museum
Xiaohui GUO, Guest Prof. of Experimental Art School, CAFA
Dr. Tayfun BELGIN, Director of Osthaus Museum Hagen


REN Rong, Director of Kunstraum Villa Friede, Germany



Organized by Beijing international art biennale organizing committee
Academic Support by CAFA Art Museum
Supported by Shandong Art Museum, Fangyuan Art Museum


Source: Shandong Art Museum


Shandong Art Museum
10 Qingnian E Rd, Lixia District
Jinan, Shandong, China, 250061