Course Code


Course Name

Art in Contemporary China


Mon 13:30-16:15




Dr Alberto Gerosa

Teaching Assistant

Calitana Mamuti

Course Description

This course will introduce students to significant selected themes on Chinese Contemporary Art and the Country’s artistic output transformation. We will offer an aesthetic exploration of contemporary Chinese art, spanning from the mid 1970s to the present. We will deepen major art trends in class, influential artists, regional evolutions, and the conceptual cores that have helped in allowing their narratives and forms to arise. The class will cover works from various media, from painting and sculpture to video and installation art. A special emphasis will be on performance art, considered as the new form historically arising from the new contemporary Chinese context. Significant masterpieces will be introduced weekly. Artworks will be put into the perspective of their cultural, aesthetic, and societal backgrounds within the context of mainland China and its relation to the world. A choice of readings and videos will provide opportunities to discuss various methods to “feel” the contemporary aesthetic, from experts’ critiques to practitioners’ explorations. Students can choose to complete their final research project in a group as a collective artwork.

Course Outline

Week 1 08.01 Introduction: what is contemporary

Week 2 15.01 1976-1984, Starting Chinese Contemporary art

Week 3 22.01 1985-1989, ’85 New Wave: The Appearing Avant-Garde

Week 4 29.01 China 1990-2000, Globalization and the Art Market

Week 5 05.02 China 2000-2022, New Trends

Week 6 19.02 Field Visit, SITE VISIT: M plus Museum, Sigg Gallery Collection

Week 7 26.02 Interview With Artist: Planning

Week 8 11.03 Comparative Aesthetics

Week 9 18.03 Chinese Contemporary Art Aesthetics

Week 10 25.03 Contemporary Performative Theatre

Week 11 08.04 Chinese Contemporary Arts Global Scale

Week 12: 15.04 Shanzhai, from factory practice to high art aesthetic Concept

Week 13 22.04 Projects Installation towards the final exhibition

Week 14 29.04 Final Exhibition Dates

Assessment & Assignments

Participation: 20%
Artist Interview: 25%
Final Project: 55%

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.