“Her” Stories in Cultural Memory Reconstruction: Female Images and Subjectivity in Restored Paintings and Films from 20th-Century Taiwan

Vivian Szu-Chin Chih
UC San Diego

This research examines how female images and subjectivities have changed, evolved, and been reimagined through the restored visual arts produced in 20th-century Taiwan. By using under-researched art restoration practices as a critical medium, this project investigates how the restored female images and the individual memories of female artists and conservators have acted as a crucial form of “counter-memory” against the predominantly male narratives through which Taiwan’s cultural memory was constructed. It argues that female subjectivities observed through these restored visual arts serve to retrieve and reinstate the long-forgotten “her” stories obliterated from Taiwan’s official account of collective cultural memory, and open up the possibility for gender diversity represented through various forms of the arts.

Image credit: Lee Shien-Wen