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The Second Sex And Contemporary Chinese Women’s Art A Case Study On Chen Lingyang’s Work

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Chapter Summary

One of the best academic publishing houses in China, Beijing Sanlian Bookstore, once made a survey of one hundred books that had most influenced Chinese society in the past twenty years (1978-1998); Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex was on the list. If one were to do a survey on the history of western feminism in China, one would find that the attention paid to and celebration of Beauvoir in Chinese society is a unique instance, unsurpassed by that of any other feminist of both Europe and the U.S. This chapter demonstrates how exploring this fact not only provides a fresh perspective on the development of Women's Studies in Chinese society, but how it also calls into question the very use of the notion of 'western feminism' for explaining contemporary Chinese women's art. The work of Chen Lingyang is used as an example to demonstrate the problem.

Keywords: Chen Lingyang; Chinese society; Contemporary Chinese Women's art; Simone de Beauvoir; The Second Sex; western feminism; women's studies



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