Jane Chin Davidson
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Environment, labor, and video
(eco)feminist interpellations of Chineseness in the work of Yuk King Tan, Cao Fei, and Wu Mali
in Staging art and Chineseness
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By focusing on the work of three women artists, Yuk King Tan, Cao Fei, and Wu Mali, Chapter 3 explores the use of performance video in raising important labor and environmental issues as interrelated problems. Situated in the circuit of multi-national industry, moving rapidly since the 1990s, Tan, Cao, and Wu’s subjects expose the ways in which environmental concerns are explicitly connected to the unabated growth of market economies in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan. Tan’s video performance Scavenger (2008) reveals how labor in global capitalism has affected a gendered class of Hong Kong society. Cao’s Haze and Fog (2013) depicts the airpocalypse of the zombie futures of Beijing, while Wu’s Stories of Women from Hsin-Chuang (1997) memorializes the rural women who worked in Taiwanese factory towns like Hsin-Chuang. The cycle of economic boom characterized by the ‘made in China’ trope in the twenty-first century, emerging successively after ‘made in Taiwan and Hong Kong’ in the twentieth century, has accelerated the conditions of environmental crisis. The performative expressions explored in this chapter acknowledge the repeat performances of precarious labor as well as the redoubled impacts of unabated industrial growth. Artists like Wu are actively performing environmental restorations in the aftermath.

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Staging art and Chineseness

The politics of trans/nationalism and global expositions


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