In conversation with Singaporean artists Lizzie Wee and Stephanie Jane Burt on how 'radical softness' can destabilise gendered hierarchies.
With the rise in popularity of millennial pink and an evident resurgence of Y2K fashion, the values of ‘soft’, ‘pretty’ and ‘pink’ have become critical tools to deconstruct, subvert and contest the patriarchal framework and gender binaries. Such “radical softness as a weapon”, first coined by queer artist Lora Mathis in 2015, boldly confronts traditional notions of femininity and power, allowing hyperfemininity to claim new significance in the semantics of gender. We invite two local artists Lizzie Wee and Stephanie Jane Burt to share with us how their practices have been informed by the gender discourse and how they actively challenge the moulds of gender stereotypes, binaries and tradition to reimagine the female narrative. Lizzie Wee has been researching extensively on female characters portrayed in Asian television series and movies over the past year, which has led her to create a list of archetypes, from ‘The Seductress’ to ‘The Virgin’. In a recent new video work, Honey Trap (2021), she looks towards stylised imagery of women and vernacular used to describe them from risqué vintage Penthouse and Playboy magazines to devise her own femme fatale. On the other hand, Stephanie Jane Burt creates sculptural installations that references literature and films to examine feminism, girl culture and nouveau roman. Looking back at archival images of romance comic anthologies, Burt has created a new body of work, Romance Report Letters, in hopes of recasting the heroine of these stories who seem to be in a state of constant peril. She also started a research project, A Stubborn Bloom, which explores representations of femininity within fashion, film and material culture.
Join us for an ingenuous evening peppered by the salacious with these two local female artists as we uncover secrets of the seductress, the virgin and the matriarch!
The Atelier: Yeo Workshop Presents—The Seductress, Virgin & Matriarch; An Artist Talk. Wednesday, 5 Jan 2022 7pm, The Orchid Room, Level 3, Mandala Club.
This talk is organised in conjunction with Ornamental ⠂瓖 (xiāng) at Yeo Workshop, Singapore. Featuring local and regional artists, the exhibition highlights an attentiveness towards the physicality of art works as ‘objects’, where artists in the show re-materialise various forms of domestic, cultural and political constructs to transcend the notion of utility in favour of aesthetics. It is an invitation back into the physical space and experience of art, away from the nebulous realm of the virtual and immaterial encounters.
Catch the exhibition before the event:
13 Nov 2021 - 9 Jan 2022
Artists: Quynh Dong, Santi Wangchuan, Lizzie Wee, Stephanie Jane Burt, Shayne Phua.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit the gallery’s website here.
About Yeo Workshop
Yeo Workshop is committed to contemporary art in Singapore and supporting innovative practices of contemporary artists. Covering a multi-disciplinary approach, the gallery defines itself by its progressive engagements.
About the Artists
Lizzie Wee is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, illustrator, art director and video editor. She received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from New York University Steinhardt, and Master’s in Fine Arts awarded by Goldsmiths, University of London from LASALLE College of the Arts. Her present practice-based research investigates notions of identity and belonging, which are expressed through video, performance, and writing for performance.
Stephanie Burt is an artist whose practice spans from sculptural installations to fictional prose. She completed her studies at Glasgow School of Art, where she received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Painting and her Master of Fine Arts. Having recently completed a residency at ISCP New York in 2019, Burt’s work invites the viewer to explore dialogues between her installations and their settings through a fictional narrative at times referencing film and literature.