top of page

Cui Xiuwen

Artist 17 Cui Xiuwen Existential Emptiness

Cui Xiuwen was a Chinese artist who‘s work focused on oil paintings, as well as video and photo works. Cui was a well-known contemporary artist who passed away at the beginning of this August.

Cui has been identified as part of the Chinese Feminism movement, although she stated the following in an Artslant interview: "I think it's very limiting. It seems to just be a feature of the art market and very difficult to escape."

Cui Xiuwen’s series ‘Existential Emptiness’ will be the focus today.

It pursues her reflection on the woman as individuals in modern China. This body of work furthers her draws away from purely the physical to a more spiritual rendering. She demonstrates a search and examination of the woman’s psyche.

A life-size doll resembling the girl acts as a second character. It look like a puppet discharged without strings.

The doll acts as alter ego evoking a duality of body and soul, yin and yang, life and lifelessness. The presence and absence and the closeness or distance of the doll in each work reflect how they are intertwined.

What I love about this work is how the doll acts as a portrayal of the pain and scarring ones experiences living as a woman. The doll acts a reflection into the heart of the girl. The choice of black and white adds to the spiritual element of the work in how it reflects a more temporal state of being.

At times the girl needs the doll and at other times it holds her down forcing her to drag it. I think this reflects how our internal baggage functions.

If your inner self were to become real what would it be? #celebratingwomensmonth #celebratingfemaleartists #arthistory #cuixiuwen

Sources consulted:


bottom of page