Yang Li


Yang Li

Yang is a Chinese independent curator got her Master degree in the University of Melbourne. She has been involved in a 2018’s exhibition “Echoes of Civilization: Ancient Treasures from Afghanistan” in Chengdu Museum and collaborated with curators from National Museum of Afghanistan. She has engaged in public education programs about cultural heritage and nature. Yang is also a musician, poet, and Chinese feminism activist


Since the second wave of the feminism movement in the last century, motherhood has emerged as a multifaceted topic, especially in the domain of women’s creativity and the wider art industry. For some time, the art world has overlooked the reality of parenthood. Especially after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the community is confronting greater constraints on art practice and market engagement (Heidenry, 2020). While academics have shed light upon the sophisticated relations between feminism and motherhood for decades, viewing the development of motherhood along with its social impact from an institutional perspective is still in its infancy. There are few cultural and art institutions worldwide that devote efforts to mother studies, family issues and mother-artists. Meanwhile, a considerable gap appears. Limited research focuses on institutional development. In light of these facts, it is necessary to review and evaluate the current institutions and projects relevant to the topic of mothers and families and to redefine their role in developing mother studies, while facilitating diversified social cognition. This essay aims to bridge the gap between mother studies and institutional practice in the real world by two methodologies: literature review and case study, in which the subject is the Museum of Motherhood (hereinafter MOM). The first section reviews general motherhood-feminism studies and motherhood in art, followed by a detailed case study of MOM including exhibitions, scholarship and projects. The author finally identifies the limitations and challenges, recommending a direction for the future. This author also argues that MOM significantly contributes to academic mother studies and a community network by integrating exhibitions and scholarship, collaborating with other institutions and projects.

Student Research Essay – Institutional Perspective and Practice of Motherhood: The Case of the Museum of Motherhood

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