The show, entitled ''Jian, Rape: Gender Violence Cultural Codes'' was set to focus on gender equality and was organized by artist Cui Guangxia. The intention of the show was to highlight the UN's mission to encourage men to engage with women's rights.

The exhibition planned to feature the works of 32 females artists alongside 32 male artists and would have been the first show of its kind in China.

Feminist artist Xiao Lu commented on the censorship of the show: "Most exhibitions here consist entirely or mostly of work by male artists, with only one or two women. Feminist shows in China are very unusual."

china_ Xiao Lu and Tang Song at 'China/Avant-Garde' exhibition in 1989
Image via Wang Youshen

There are a number of potential reasons behind the forced closure of the show such as the controversial subject of human rights within China and the pro-democracy protests held in China last year which lead to the arrests of several artists.

Cui still intends to publish the exhibition's catalog and now has hopes to move the show outside of China.