Jiang Jian: Mother of Wounded Warriors and Refugee Children

Jing Zhou

Medium: Archive and Website
Issues: Chinese Women, History, Narratives, and Refugees

Project Links


The Jiang Jian website is the first visual presentation of a growing project that touches on multiple fields of studies such as history, women’s movement, storytelling, information design, visual narrative, interaction design, and web development. This project unveils the forgotten story of an extraordinary woman Jiang Jian (蒋鉴)—the “Chinese Nightingale,” “Mother of Wounded Warriors,” and “Mother of Refugee Children”—who passed away at age 38 during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). Through her evocative story, the project sheds light upon the Mothers’ Movement in China, a major achievement of the Chinese Women’s Movement in the first half of the 20th century.

Ms. Jiang was from an affluent family. Instead of living a comfortable life, she became a nurse, educator, activist, and philanthropist during the war. She volunteered to serve the wounded warriors in military hospitals and established a refugee school for children. In addition to actively engaging in community development and charity programs, she set up a local Women’s Association. After years of assiduous work, she dedicated her life entirely for the wounded warriors and refugee children in wartime. Meanwhile, from 1938 to 1946, 30,000 refugee children were saved and educated in over 60 Relief Schools throughout China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia organized by the Chinese Wartime Refugee Children’s Relief and Education Association (中国战时儿童保育会) supported mainly by donations.  After WWII, unfortunately, the Chinese Mothers’ Movement has been overlooked and their voices attenuated due to the Chinese Civil War followed by decades of political turmoil and unrest. As of today, no studies in English are hitherto available. This project was initiated to share the story of Jiang Jian—a heroine of the Chinese Mothers’ Movement, which would deepen our understanding of common human experiences and stimulate social change for generations to come.


Born in China, Jing Zhou is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, researcher, and educator in USA. She works at the intersection of visual design, interactive installation, data visualization, animation/video, and fine arts. Her award winning work has been shown and collected internationally including: Triennale Design Museum, Milan; British Computer Society, London; Asian Cultural Center, New York City; SIGGRAPH Art Gallery; ISEA; IEEE; CAA; Les Abattoirs Museum, France; Mons Memorial Museum, Belgium; Royal Institution of Australia; Athens Digital Art Festival, Greece; New York Hall of Science; Danish Poster Museum; GAMeC Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, Italy; Taksim Republic Art Gallery, Istanbul; FILE, Sao Paulo; Sardinia Film Festival, Italy; Visual Information Design Assn. of Korea; Goethe Institute Alexandria, Egypt; Stanford University; Yale University; Brown University; Aalto University Design Factory, Finland; ArtCenter College of Design; Hungarian Electrographic Art Assn., Budapest; PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Awards; public collection of the WRO Media Art Center, Poland; Waikato Museum, New Zealand; Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic; SDAI Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego; and Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. Jing is also a Platinum Winner of the MarCom International Awards, Gold Winner of the American Design Awards, Silver Winner of the Summit International Creative Awards, and Prize Winner of IFUW (GWI) Poster Competition in Geneva.