China has gained a relevant global importance from economy to contemporary art, and the first Chinese Female Artists Video Art Festival held during part of June and July 2015 offered first hand referents to the Art and general public of its contemporary Video art production. Our aims were that this approach to China and her artists could enrich popular culture, induce an intercultural dialogue in the specific video art field, and to promote the creation of meaning and knowledge around a culture that’s vastly unknown, and misunderstood by many.
The Chinese Female Artists Video Art Festival is known to be unique in the international Art world. To gather Chinese artists working in the PRC as in different countries overseas in one place was made in Mexico City for the first time. Through global open calls, the Chinese Women Artists Video Art Festival was organized with the aim of gathering a representative group of Chinese female artists to show their video art production in Mexico City. The call was attended by 37 artists from Mainland China and living abroad, especially Europe and North America, and 50 different videos in animation; documental, video-performance and videoart were shown in 6 different venues in Mexico City. Lectures and workshops allowed the audiences to engage more with the Chinese Culture and frame the artists and video productions into its specific but variegated context.
This was just the start to implement a two ways road between artists not only in China and México but also Latin America. As an artists and curator I really believe that Art is a powerful provider of human understanding and that women hold the essence of our people.
In 2017, the Popular Republic of China and the Mexican Republic will commemorate 45 of diplomatic relationships and 2017 has been designated “Year of the Chinese Culture in Mexico”. But China and México have been linked through older historical events that seem to be forgotten nowadays.
From 1565 until 1815 there was a continuous exchange of Chinese fine goods carried by what in Mexico is called La Nao de China, The Chinese Ship that arrived into the Mexican Acapulco port to distribute the goods in Mexico City and later on to Spain. Being Mexico the bridge between Chinese and Spanish Empires, the culture and beauty of Chinese goods captivated the Mexican people, who tried to emulate some characteristic objects like blue and white porcelain.
There are even older encounters that we can trace through archeologic treasures like the magnificent stone sculpture called The Olmec Fighter, belonging to the oldest recognized Mexican civilization, that shows very Chinese features and stance, a sculpture that “falls outside the norms for much of the known Olmec art” which, the archeologist speculate, could be an imported item. And even if it’s just speculation, the piece speaks about a contact between Chinese and Olmecs in an (until now) imaginary past.
Under the three hundred years of Spanish domination of our country, the word China was used to denominate women who dared to step out of the typical cultural conventions that limited the social feminine roles of being a nun or a wife, that is, free-thinking women were called Chinas, for unknown reasons. In the middle of the XIX century, along with certain modernization, the term Chinas started to disappear, as also did a special outfit created in Puebla province named China poblana.
Also in the last years of the XIX Century, the Chinese immigration to the American Continent was originated mainly from Guangdong. Hundreds of Chinese families came to Mexico to find a living. Many stayed and through hardship and perseverance slowly built a Chinese community in this country.
The historical and the quotidian, the imaginary and the real have linked our countries in the past and lies in the background of modern day’s relationship. Even if there is a huge ocean between our lands, it has provided the opportunity of contact. This Second Chinese Female Artists Video Art will allow widening our perception, understanding and appreciation of the huge Chinese spirit through some of the artwork of its female artists, giving an especial emphasis to Guangzhou Province, honoring Guangdong as a magnificent door to Chinese contemporary culture and art in the Year of Chinese Culture in Mexico.