Presented at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Green Snake: women-centred ecologies gather more than 60 works—16 of them new commissions—from 30 artists and collectives in an exhibition that draws on mythologies and world views with women at their heart to explore possibilities for other ecological relationships.


In the context of rising global temperatures and extreme weather events, Green Snake points to the extractive economies at the root of our ecological crises that treat nature as reserves of resources for exploitation. It asks what alternative narratives are activated through artists’ visions that celebrate nature as a generative force, many of them grounded in notions of care and interrelationship at the intersection of ecology and feminism. The labor of care is essential to the reproduction of existence—this has been undervalued in articulated patriarchal and imperial systems across broad geographies.

The exhibition title refers both to the celebrated ancient Chinese folktale about two demon sisters, White Snake and Green Snake, and to mythological serpentine figures across cultures and cosmological systems that are associated with nature’s capacity to shed skins, transform, and re-awaken. In the eighth-century folktale Madame White Snake, the figure of Green Snake strongly represents women’s agency, sisterhood, and also gender fluidity—and has been widely reinterpreted in contemporary literature and cinema. At another level, in the exhibition, the snake’s sinuous curves echo the geomorphology of river systems and the vital energy of the water flowing through them.


A series of artists in Green Snake have long standing research interests in specific river ecosystems and in their associated mythologies. Dialogues between works rooted in different geographies testify to parallel struggles and parallel practices of empathy and care for non-human existence. The figure of an all-encompassing circle of planetary and cosmic renewal emerges in a symphonic call for a radical reorientation of the human within the whole.

Artists: AFSAR (Asian Feminist Studio for Art and Research), Yussef Agbo-Ola & Tabita Rezaire, Maria Thereza Alves, Lhola Amira, Minia Biabiany, Adriana Bustos, Seba Calfuqueo, Cao Minghao & Chen Jianjun, Carolina Caycedo, Stephanie Comilang & Simon Speiser, Valentina Desideri & Denise Ferreira da Silva, Rohini Devasher, Gidree Bawlee, Guo Fengyi, Manjot Kaur, Jaffa Lam, Candice Lin, Lavanya Mani, Marzia Migliora, Ann Leda Shapiro, Karan Shrestha, Dima Srouji, Natasha Tontey, Cecilia Vicuña, Tricky Walsh, Dana Whabira.