CHEN Fong-fong 陳芳芳
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 香港科技大學

Staging Everyday Life and the Pleasures of Leisure: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting

This paper explores the depictions of objects, clothing, and architectural spaces as narrative modes in the pictures of women's everyday lives in relation to their social roles. By looking at images of women, with a focus on the paintings shown in "Beauty Revealed: Images of Women in Qing Dynasty Chinese Painting" (University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2013), this paper emphasizes the everyday and cultural lives of women in inner chambers and gardens. It argues that everyday life, in particular women's leisure activities and hobbies, could be a significant aspect of gender analysis. This paper posits that women were both the audience for these images, as well as subjects of the male gaze, and positions their daily life within the literati culture of the Ming and Qing periods.