About the Book

This collection of profiles celebrates the artistic achievements of sixteen visionary women from a region of surprisingly diverse cultures despite their geographical proximity.

From literary figures like Nieh Hualing and dance icons like Yang Meiqi, to bold contemporary artists Yin Xiuzhen and Lulu Hou, their creativity covers a wide range of literary, visual and performing arts.

These courageous women often had to defy cultural expectations in order to heed their artistic drive. Their artworks delve into the social realities of their times, and their personal stories provide an intimate portrait of the historical trajectory of Greater China over three generations.

Written by journalists and scholars with deep knowledge of the arts in Asia, and richly illustrated with images of art and historical events, the collection reveals the vibrance of women’s art in the region.

Featured Artists

Praise for Creating Across Cultures

Meet the Team

Concept creator Michelle Vosper galvanized an impressive group of accomplished Asian scholars and cultural journalists to join her in contributing to this collection of stories about sixteen extraordinary women in the arts.

In addition to these writers, other creative minds were invaluable in achieving the quality of the publication. Managing editor Mary Child ensured the caliber of both prose and content, sharing years of experience as Asian studies editor at both Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. The visually captivating design was the artistry of veteran graphic designer Sohing Chau, supported by photo editor P.Y. Lau whose company Inkers Inc. also handled project management.

Creating Across Cultures was inspired by Michelle’s observation of the special challenges faced by women artists throughout her career in cultural exchange. She lived in Hong Kong for thirty years where she directed the Hong Kong Program of the New York-based Asian Cultural Council, a foundation which has awarded fellowships to more than 5,000 individual artists. She entered the field in 1978 as assistant to the distinguished composer Chou Wen-chung when he launched the first US-China Arts Exchange program at Columbia University. Later, in 2018, she and visual artist Li Xiaofei teamed up to create the documentary “Chou Wen-chung: Composer of Confluence.” Michelle now lives in rural New Jersey where she devotes her time to work in wildlife preservation and writing about local history.


Michelle Vosper

About the Writers

LIZA BIELBY is founder and co-director of the Detroit-based experimental theater company, The Hinterlands. Prior to establishing the company in 2009, she studied chuanju (Sichuan Opera) at the Sichuan Provincial Arts and Chuanju School, where she met her mentor, Tian Mansha, who is the subject of Chapter 11. Liza is the only non-Chinese national to have studied and performed chuanju throughout China. She holds an MFA in ensemble-based physical theater from Dell’Art International.

CHRISTINA YUEN ZI CHUNG is a writer, translator, and PhD student in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies department of the University of Washington. Drawing upon her experiences working in the arts in Asia, her present research is focused on feminist analyses of contemporary art from Hong Kong and Mainland China. She is a Governing Board Member of China Residencies, an online directory and advisory platform for artist residencies in China.

SAMANTHA CULP is a Los Angeles-based writer, curator and producer who spent the past decade in greater China working at the intersection of art, film and new media. Her writing and criticism have appeared in publications such as Artforum, New York Times T Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and as a contributing editor of China’s bilingual art magazine LEAP (艺术界).

VALERIE C. DORAN is a Hong Kong–based curator and critic in the field of Chinese contemporary art, with interests in cultural crosscurrents and comparative art theory. Her recent curatorial projects include the group show The Garden of Winter Light: A Space to Linger, in collaboration with installation artist Lee Man Sang (2015); Frog King Totem, an exhibition of the artist Frog King Kwok (2014); and Made in Hong Kong, featuring works by conceptual artist Leung Mee Ping (2014).

JENNIFER FEELEY is the co-editor of Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and the translator of Not Written Words: Selected Poetry of Xi Xi (Zephyr Press and MCCM Creations, 2016), which World Literature Today named one of the 75 notable translations of 2016. She holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University and is the recipient of a Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry and Translation Fellowship.

GEORG KOCHI has devoted his professional life to working in arts and cultural organizations that bridge the Pacific Ocean through presentations and artist support. After serving as the Asian Cultural Council’s Representative in Tokyo from 1992 to 2010, he became a member of the advisory council of Tama Art University in Tokyo and has been a long-serving trustee of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum in Japan.

TINA LI YING MA is a performance artist based in Taipei, who uses voice, music, stories and art to create performances and healing experiences. Her work is grounded in a native Taiwanese sensibility and often takes inspiration from mythology and the spirituality of indigenous cultures. For many years Tina has been a supporter of the ACC Taiwan Foundation and its grantees and is a seasoned practitioner of the tea arts.

TERRY O’REILLY (易光海) is a playwright, performer and director who has been an artistic director of Mabou Mines in New York for more than four decades. A versatile artist, his work ranges from dancing in the companies of Trisha Brown, Simone Forte and Meredith Monk to directing minimalist opera in Belgrade to directing and co-writing (with Simon Wong) a children’s puppet play in Hong Kong.

RALPH SAMUELSON is Senior Advisor of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC), where he began his career in 1976 and served as Director 1991 to 2008. He is also an acclaimed performer, teacher and recording artist of the Japanese bamboo flute, the shakuhachi , which he performs internationally.

CLARE TYRRELL-MORIN is a writer and editor with a focus on cross-cultural shifts and cultural hybridity. She was born in England, raised in Hong Kong, and has spent 15 years working as an arts writer for HK Magazine, the South China Morning Post and as founding art editor of Time Out Hong Kong.

SASHA SU-LING WELLAND, Associate Professor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies and an affiliated faculty member in China Studies at the University of Washington. She is the author of “Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art”, published by Duke University Press in 2018. Her earlier publication, “A Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters” (2006) traces the social history and border-crossing lives of two women who emerged from China’s early twentieth-century women’s movement.

Look Inside


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Creating Across Cultures –
Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

Edited by Michelle Vosper

Publisher: East Slope Publishing Ltd. (Muse, HK)

US Distributor: Broad Street Books

Hong Kong Distributor: Hong Kong University Press

January 31, 2017

Price: US$26 / HK$210


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