Message — 50 Years of Women Artist in Asia

Mar 21, 2020 〜 Jun 23, 2020

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Asia Gallery

Female artists have produced artworks with strong messages that respond to social issues happening in different places in the world. In the 1960s and 70s, Europe and the United States experienced Feminism Movement that objected the male-centered social system and sexism and pursued to develop female rights. The art world responded to the movement and produced artworks that engaged with the movement. Asia was also a part of the movement. In a society where differences in race, social class, religion, and ethnicity create various social issues that also influence their view on gender, the artists, since around the 1970s, started encountering their femaleness under the various oppressions and developed their sincere forms of expression, which still continues today. In contemporary society, the definition of femaleness has been questioned based on the understanding that human sexuality is essentially diverse, and more artists have become aware of the existing gender biases in our everyday life and sharing their experiences through the internet.


As the first collection exhibition of the FY2020, this exhibition introduces the works of female artists in the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum collection created between the 1970s and today. The female artist’s works make up only eleven percent of the FAAM collection. Among them, this exhibition focuses on the works that deal with the question of what is to be a woman in chronological sections: the 1970s-80s, 1990s, and post-2000s.


In the 1970s-80s, female artists turned themselves from the object of being depicted to the subject to explore their style to express who they are while still being suffered from the patriarchal system and traditional sense of values. This section focuses on how female artists developed their interest in their bodies and society and explored their art despite difficult social conditions. In the 1990s, many female artists became visible and their styles became diversified. During this time period, the idea of gender (socially determined sexual identity) became widely shared among female Asian artists as well. This section especially focuses on the works that question the social status and roles of women. In the post-2000 era, the issue of female identity is intricately intertwined with society. This section, accordingly, introduces the contemporary artworks that express the internal reality of female artists by using the method, such as delicate traditional hand works and contemporary animation techniques.