“NüWa Reawakening” is a body of work depicting the women’s social positions in the ancient male dominant world in China.
According to Chinese legend, Nüwa is the goddess who created humans. When the Fire and Water Gods fought and broke the heaven Nüwa used the stones with five colors to repair it and gave heaven a stable support by using the legs of a giant turtle. In ancient times, Nüwa was worshipped and females were respected and held in high regard as the nurturers of life.
As civilization evolved, the teachings of Confucius became predominant in Chinese culture and the status of females changed to one of control, Confucianism promoted the requirement for the female to be loyal to one man for the woman’s entire life and created systems to ensure male domination. Concepts such as “ three obedience and four virtues’ took hold. The “ three obedience’s “ were to obey the father’s orders at home, obey the husband’s orders after marriage and obey the son’s orders if the husband died whilst maintaining the four virtues of morality , proper speech , modest manner and diligent work. Education for females was seen as threatening to the status quo and the principle “ no knowledge for a female is a virtue” took hold until these ideas became commonplace and accepted throughout the society. Oppression of women was considered to be natural.
Women in ancient days were imbued with these ideas and nowadays living in modern society I see the contradictions and flaws in the old cultural values. For this project I chose to incorporate nude as one of the principle elements, it symbolizes the vulnerability and helplessness of females living in a society where control is paramount .The nude is also still a taboo subject in ancient conservative China and so it is also symbolic of my rebellion and rejection of the feudalism system of control.
This series reveals the women’s social position in the ancient closed and conservative Chinese history when male dominated the society.