Translating Nüshu: Drawing Nüshu, Dancing Nüshu

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
Get full text


There is evidence of women artists producing art works throughout history, but often their work was attributed to their male guardian. However, in a remote rural area of south China women developed their own script, nüshu (literally women’s writing) in which they wrote songs, ballads, laments, autobiographies, and correspondence with other women. Nüshu works were produced by women and for women and as such were left unacknowledged. This article argues that in order to acknowledge nüshu as an art practice it needs to be “translated,” referenced, and acknowledged by other artists. The paper explores the way in which two Hong Kong artists—working in drawing and dance respectively—translate, commemorate, and construct an artistic heritage and a genealogy of women artists in China through references to nüshu works.




Foster, N. (2019). Translating Nüshu: Drawing Nüshu, Dancing Nüshu. Art in Translation, 11(4), 393–416.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free