Joint UMAG Public Lectures: Women in Art

Date :
Saturday, 9 September 2017
Time :
10:30 – 11:30 Lecture I | 11:30 – 11:45 Tea break | 11:45 – 12:45 Lecture II
Venue :
1/F, Fung Ping Shan Building, UMAG, HKU
Cost :
Free of charge with registration
Enquiries :
Karina Kwok at [email protected] or 9469-6094

We are delighted to organise two lectures on women in art, spanning centuries across continents. To register on-line, please visit:

Lecture I: "Staging Everyday Life and the Pleasures of Leisure: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting" with Dr. Fongfong Chen
Generally known as "shinü hua" (gentlewomen paintings) or "meiren hua" (beautiful women paintings), paintings of women were a favourite theme in Chinese art from the eighth century onwards. This paper focuses on the depictions of objects, clothing, and architectural spaces as narrative modes in the pictures of women’s everyday lives in relation to their social roles. By looking at images of women in Qing dynasty paintings, this talk emphasizes the everyday and cultural lives of women in inner chambers and gardens. It argues that everyday life, in particular women’s leisure activities and hobbies, could be a significant aspect of gender analysis. Indeed, women were possibly both the audience for these images, as well as subjects of the male gaze, and positions their daily life within the literati culture of the Ming and Qing periods.

Dr. Fongfong Chen is currently an Associate Curator at the University Museum & Art Gallery (UMAG) and an Honorary Assistant Professor at the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She was a J.S. Lee Memorial Fellow (2013/2014) and a visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Berkeley, USA. Her research focuses on images of women and women’s fashions in different visual media in China from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Her articles have appeared in academic journals and exhibition catalogues, including "Ming Qing Yanjiu", "Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting", "Der Perfekte Pinsel: Chinesische Malerei 1300-1900 (The Perfect Brush: Chinese Painting 1300-1900)", and "Hong Kong Visual Arts Yearbook 2008".

Lecture II: "Why Women, Why Then, Why Now?" with Ms. Eliza Gluckman
Ms. Eliza Gluckman, Curator of the New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge will talk us through its story, from the acquisition that spurred it in the late 1980s, to its continued importance today in the narrative of women artists and their careers. With over 500 works it is the largest collection of works by women in Europe. The artists represented include Barbara Hepworth, Tracey Emin, Paula Rego and Lin Tian Miao. The collection is currently looking at works by women artists in Hong Kong and working with a researcher and the Asia Art Archive to look at the last 50 years of women artists in Hong Kong. This lecture will consider the questions – Why women? Why then? Why now?

Ms. Eliza Gluckman has an MA in Fine Art/ History of Art and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art (Royal College of Art). She has also worked in contemporary art for eighteen years, including in institutions such as Asia House and the Royal Society of Arts, and establishing a private institution and collection. In a freelance capacity Eliza has worked with the National Trust and museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. She has been Curator of the New Hall Art Collection – a new role established in June 2015 – for two years. In this time, she has helped to address and enhance aspects of organisational health, collection care and user experience, drawing heavily on her previous experience in exhibition display, curatorial research and audience development.