How should we define Taoism in contemporary China?

Installation: In - Between

This installation In-Between reflects the artist's conflicted mindset regarding Taoism—the very authentic Chinese faith and system of teaching that was (and is) conceived in the epistemological realms of philosophy and religion. Li's ambivalent sentiment extends,  on one hand, from knowing that the thousands of years of Taoist teachings and philosophies are deeply rooted in Chinese thought, linguistics, and the overall cultural milieu. Taoism is, therefore, an important component of Li's identity. As a person who grew up in China, Li, like so many from her country, bear a favorable, easeful impression of Taoism.

On the other hand, Li's innate fear towards dogmas and organized religions makes her question the motivations that have enabled the proliferation of Taoism. This fear likely extends from the Chinese Communist Party’s suppression of religions for decades. Although Li was born in the 1990s, when the rule against religion wasn't nearly that harsh, she was still surrounded by a social collective that viewed religion as taboo. Marxism-Leninism views religion as “opium of the people.” Since its inception, Communism in China
has been in conflict with the Taoist metaphysical influences rooted in traditional Chinese culture.

This conflict of between cultural tradition and political reality has created ideological confusion for many Chinese people, leading to the question posed by this thesis: How should we define Taoism in contemporary China?