Contemporary art in China is a man’s world. While the art market, all but nonexistent in 1989, has become a powerhouse industry and produced a pantheon of multimillionaire artist-celebrities, there are no women in that pantheon.
The new museums created to display contemporary art rarely give women solo shows. Among the hundreds of commercial galleries competing for attention in Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere, art by women is hard to find.
Yet the art is there, and it is some of the most innovative work around, even as visibility remains a problem. On a monthlong stay, I visited several women who live and work in and around Beijing and have important careers, although none of them top the auction charts, and few are represented by prestigious galleries. An alternative list of women doing strong but little-noticed work would be long.