Skip to content

Exploring Queer Women’s Space: An Interview with Shi Tou

25 May 2021

Part 1. Shi Tou’s Artworks
The section starts by introducing the China Queer Independent Film Tour that Shi Tou is organising and attending in April -May 2021. It then shifts to Shi Tou’s career as an artist and showcases some of her painting, photography and installation.

Part 2. Shi Tou’s Films
This section traces Shi Tou’s career in filmmaking: from being a lead actor in China’s first lesbian feature, Fish and Elephant (dir. Li Yu, 2001), to Shi Tou’s own documentaries featuring lesbian lives such as Women 50 Minutes (2006) and We Are Here (2015, with Sam Jing Zhao).

Part 3. Shi Tou and Queer Activism
This section introduces the queer activism that She Tou participated in, from women’s reading groups and lesbian conferences in the 1990s Beijing to Beijing Queer Film Festival and China Queer Independent Film Festival Tour in the 2000s.

About Shi Tou:  

Hailed as ‘one of the most outstanding female artists in contemporary China’, painter-photographer-filmmaker Shi Tou has been actively exhibiting her works internationally since 1992.

Shi Tou was the first lesbian to come out on China’s public television when she appeared in a TV talk show with Li Yinhe and Cui Zi’en in 2000 discussing the issue of homosexuality,

She played a lead role in Fish and Elephant (dir. Li Yu, 2001), the first feature-length lesbian film from the PRC which later won prizes at film festivals in Venice, Berlin and Toronto.

She was art director of the documentary Dream on the Wall, which won the best short film award at the 2010 Hong Kong Chinese Documentary Film Festival.

Her artworks and films have been exhibited all over the world, including in Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Norway, and the US. She is also coordinator of the China Queer Independent Film collective.

Exhibitions and Film Festivals

2019 Shi Tou Artworks Exhibition at KUNSTPLASS Contemporary Art and the 26th Oslo World Music Festival, Norway. 

Jun.-Aug. 2018 ‘Secret Love’ Art Exhibition in Historical Museum, Oslo, Norway.

2017 ELLES TOURNENT – Women’s Film Festival Brussels, Belgium.

     International Women Film Festival in Seoul Korea.

     Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei, Taiwan.      

2015-2016 ‘Secret Love’ Art Exhibition, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam.

April.2013 ‘Secret Love’ Art Exhibition, National Museums of World Culture, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Sep. 2012 ‘Secret Love’ Art Exhibition at Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden.

Mar. 2012 Brown University International Film Festival, the USA.; the Europe-China LGBT Exchange Conference, University of Manchester and Nottingham Trent University, UK.