English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips > 双语新闻

关注性别失衡 艺术家创作“女”兵马俑
Terra-cotta warriors get 'sex change'

[ 2014-09-17 09:56] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

关注性别失衡 艺术家创作“女”兵马俑


When Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, anticipated his death more than 2,000 years ago, he wanted an army of warriors to guard his mausoleum forever and protect him in the afterlife.

So he ordered the creation of some 8,000 terra-cotta soldiers, along with hundreds of terra-cotta horses and chariots, to be buried with him in his tomb. Historians speculate the soldiers were modeled after eight individuals. When the statues were discovered by workers digging a well in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, in 1974, the world was stunned by the spectacular funerary art and the legacy of the powerful emperor. Since then, it's become a major tourist attraction and a World Heritage site.

Now, these soldiers have a counterpart: female terra-cotta warriors.

Prune Nourry, a Paris-born artist based in New York City, has created a small army of them. In "Terracotta Daughters," 116 are featured in an exhibition at the China Institute from September 10 through October 4. The show's US premiere is presented by theFrench Institute Alliance Francaise and China Institute as part of FIAF's Crossing the Line festival.

The difference is these female terra-cotta warriors are not out to protect any emperor, but were created to bring attention to the plight of girls in China.

"In China, there is a huge imbalance between boys and girls. I wanted to highlight the issue of gender preference," said Nourry. "I needed a strong cultural symbol to base this project on, and a universal one that would speak both to Chinese villagers in the countryside and to citizens abroad."

And, in a striking parallel to the terra-cotta soldiers, the terra-cotta girls will also become an archaeological project. After the exhibition, they will be buried in China until 2030, the year that, according to Chinese sociologists, men will have the hardest time finding a wife because of the skewed gender ratio.

The imbalance of the sexes is a serious problem for the Chinese. A 2010 census indicates there are at least 34 million more men than women. Due to the one-child policy and traditional preference for boys, as well as sex-selective technologies, China will have a huge surplus of men, which presents daunting demographic challenges for the world's most populous country.

Perhaps for those reasons, Nourry didn't encounter difficulties with the Chinese government in pursuing this project in China. She started working on the terra-cotta statues two years ago after finishing an installation in India that also explored gender bias.

In deciding on the size of the female army, Nourry chose the number eight because of its auspiciousness in Chinese culture. She created the first eight statues modeled after eight girls whom she met through an orphan charity in China.

Then, working with local craftsmen in Xi'an, 108 permutations of statues were made based Nourry's original eight statues by combining the different heads, torsos and legs. "For Xian Feng, the main craftsman I worked with in China, my project seemed at first impossible since women 'can't be soldiers.' But after we began the project, he changed his view and even turned one of the 108 combinations into a portrait of his own daughter," said Nourry.

The local craftsmen of Xi'an are used to making copies of the terra-cotta warriors which are sold primarily to tourists. When Nourry asked them to give their artistic interpretation in sculpting the female statues, they were initially tentative. Over time, they lost their hesitancy and gave each statue unique faces. No two statues have the same features.

Each terra-cotta warrior girl stands nearly 5 feet tall and weighs about 260 pounds. Their hairstyles are contemporary, as are their uniform, which is modeled after the orphan girls' school attire. Unlike the male warriors, they look approachable, friendly and even charming.

"It was a very enriching collaboration, based on exchange and mutual respect," said Nourry.

Her favorite moment was when the eight girls saw the terra-cotta statues of themselves and were delighted. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the eight original statues will pay for the cost of the eight girls' education for three years.

"Terracotta Daughters" is impressive in its artistic craftsmanship and social statement. It's a refreshing reinterpretation of one of China's national symbols. With these modern female warriors, Prune raises the pressing issue of gender discrimination without pointing fingers at anyone or anything. One looks at these amazing terra-cotta statues and feel compelled to ask -- why aren't there more of them? And why aren't there more girls in China?





出生于巴黎的纽约艺术家蒲玉娜·诺赫伊(Prune Nourry)创建了这支女兵马俑。由116件塑像组成的“女童俑”(TerracottaDaughters)将于9月10日至10月4日在中国研究所展出。这次展览的美国首映是由法国文化协会(French Institute Alliance Francaise)和中国研究所(China Institute)共同承办,这也作为法国文化协会越界节活动的一部分。











令她最开心的时刻是,当8个女孩看见自己的兵马俑雕像时的欣喜。8个原始雕像所卖收入的一部分将用于支付这8个女孩三年学费。 “女童俑”的艺术工艺和社会表现令人印象深刻。这让中国国家标志焕然一新,给予了新的诠释。诺赫伊没有指责任何人或任何事,通过这些现代女兵马俑揭露了性别歧视问题。有人看了这些令人惊叹的兵马俑后,不禁问道——为什么这样的雕像不再多点?为什么中国不能有更多的女孩?

(译者 honey琦琦 编辑 丹妮)


关注性别失衡 艺术家创作“女”兵马俑 关注性别失衡 艺术家创作“女”兵马俑