Yin Xiuzhen’s The Ruined City
This chapter looks at Beijing as a domestic space for the female artist Yin Xiuzhen, whose installation, The Ruined City (1996), depicts a tranquil Chinese family life threatened by fast urban developments. In the past years, Yin Xiuzhen had established herself as an avant-garde artist with feminist and environmental concerns, and The Ruined City focused attention on the so-called urban human ecology of Beijing from a postmodern feminist viewpoint. For Yin Xiuzhen, Beijing is the “ruined city” which has been transformed from an ancient town, rich with a “natural” and “cultural landscape,” into a postmodern jungle of callous construction and destruction. In this regard, The Ruined City can be read as a historical recollection or commemoration of Beijing, the old capital city glowing with natural beauty and human warmth.
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