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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Art and Society in the Contemporary World: China (HIAR11054)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a course that is entirely based on how Eastern art and culture is represented and perceived in the contemporary world. It is essentially about how Chinese visual culture can be viewed in relation to the overarching course theme of 'Art and Society' from the twentieth century to the present day.
Course description In this course, we will identify a number of chains of transmission between the traditional and the new, Chinese and Western culture in connection with this theme, and to discover more echoes, encounters and exchanges between artistic trends, politics, history and society throughout this course. The course will review a variety of objects, including traditional painting, calligraphy, watercolours, oil painting, photography, installation art, public monument, sculpture, digital media, performing art and other new media. The topics will also include analysis of governmental legislations and criteria on public funded art fairs and promotions, censorship policies and trends; identification of the main Chinese and international Art event organisers, investors and sponsors. Regional survey will include Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taiwan, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, and other upcoming cities in Chinese speaking world.

The course aims to present issues of visual representation in an interdisciplinary context, through the study of specific historical and contemporary examples. Students will be introduced to some current debates on the visual images, Chinese society, current art policies and on power and identity, and will examine them critically, building up skills of critical analysis, written and oral presentation skills, as well as course-specific skills of visual analysis.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAvailable to visiting History of Art students with prior approval by course secretary
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 4,000 word essay
Feedback In week 4, students will submit a formative assessment on Learn and feedback on their essay outline will be provided in written form. During the semester, there will be a drop-in advice session for students as they prepare to write the final essay and to prepare for the presentation. The written and oral feedback on the essay will be disseminated online and in person on a one-to-one basis at the end of the semester.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. seek out ideas, reading and objects that are not on course documents
  2. demonstrate independent research for essay writing
  3. balance and present alternative points of view
  4. display high level writing and presentation skills
  5. explore one's research interests and use this course as a preparation for the MSc dissertation
Reading List
1.Academic Books

Andrews, Julia, A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in 20th-century Chinese Art New York: Guggenheim Museum Publications, 1998
Berghuis, Thomas, Performance Art in China, Beijing: Timezone 8, 2007
Clark, John ed., Chinese Art at the End of the Millennium: 1998-1999, Hong Kong: New Art Media Limited, 2000
Erickson, Britta ed., On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West, Ca: Stanford: Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Centre for Visual Arts, 2004
Finnane, Antonia, Changing Clothes in China: Fashion, History, Nation, NJ: Columbia University Press, 2007
Fibicher, Bernhard & Ai, Weiwei eds., Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art From The Sigg Collection, Swiss, Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2005
Gao, Minglu, The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, Buffalo, New York: Albright Knox Art Gallery, 2005
..... ed., The 85 Movement: The Enlightenment of Chinese Avant-Garde, Guangxi: Guangxi Normal University Press, 20
..... ed., The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial Readers 1 & 2, Guangzhou: Guangdong Museum of Art, 2008
..... ed., Inside Out: New Chinese Art, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998
Guo, Yan ed., Private City: In Search 28 Chinese Contemporary Artists, Changsha: Hunan meishu chubanshe, 2007
Haw, Stephen G., Beijing-A Concise History, New York: Routledge, 2007
He, Wanli, Installation Art History of Cotemporary Chinese Arts, Shanghai: Shanghai shuhua chubanshe, 2008
Huang, Rui ed., Beijing 798: Reflections on Art, Architecture and Society in China, Beijing: Timezone 8, 2005
Koppel-Yang, Martina, Semiotic Warfare : A Semiotic Analysis, the Chinese Avant-Garde, 1979-1989, Hong Kong: University Press, 2003
Lu, Peng, A History of Art in Twentieth-Century China, Beijing: Peking University Press, 2009
Silbergeld, Jerome, Contradictions: Artistic Life, the Socialist State and the Chinese painter Li Huasheng, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993
Smith, Karen, Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China, Beijing: Timezone 8, 2008
Sullivan, Michael, Art and Artists of Twentieth-Century China, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996
Tang, Xiaobing, Origins of the Chinese Avant-Garde: The Modern Woodcut Movement, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007
Tong, Dian, China! New Art & Artists, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2005
Wolf, Michael; Min, Anchee; Duo, Duo; Landsberger, Stefan R., Chinese Propaganda Posters: From the Collection of Michael Wolf, London: Taschen, 2008
Wu, Hung, Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004
.... , Remaking Beijing: Tiananmen Square and the Creation of a Political Space, Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2005
....., Shu: Reinventing Books in Contemporary Chinese Art, New York: China Institute Gallery, 2006
......, Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, 2004
......, Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art, Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, 2008
......, Exhibiting Experimental Art in China, Chicago: Smart Museum of Art, 2000
......, Chinese Art at the Crossroads, London: Reaktion Book, 2001
......, Making History: Wu Hung on Contemporary Art, Beijing: Timezone 8, 2009

2. Exhibition Catalogues
Art Shanghai 2009, CD-ROM. Shanghai: True Art Cultural Co., Ltd., 2009
Chiu, Malissa ed., Art and China's Revolution (Asia Society), NY: Yale University Press, 2008
....., Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China, Milan: Charta, 2007
Fan, Zengxian and Xu Jiang ed., 7th Shanghai Biennale: Trans Local Motion CD-ROM, Shanghai: Shanghai Art Museum, 2008
Gao, Shiming, Sarat Maharaj, Johnson Chang Tsong-zung eds., The Third Guangzhou Triennial: Farewell to Post-Colonialism, Guangzhou: Guangdong Museum of Art, 2008
Guangdong Museum of Art ed., Evolution: 2007 Guangzhou Photo Biennial, Beijing: Zhongguo sheying chubanshe, 2007
...... ed., Images Reflecting 30 Years of Reform and Opening-Up: Collections of Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou: Guangdong Museum of Art Press, 2008
Hanru, Hou, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Guo Xiaoyan ed., The Second Guangzhou Triennial: Beyond: An Extraordinary Space of Experimentation for Modernization, Guangzhou: Guangdong Museum of Art, 2005
Hong Kong Museum of Art ed., Open Dialogue: A Launching Publication for the "Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue" Exhibition Series 2008-2009, Hong Kong: Hong Kong Museum of Art, 2008
The Saatchi Gallery, The Revolution Continues: New Art From China, Rizzoli, 2008
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art ed., 696 Weihai Road - Contemporary Art Scene in Shanghai & Open Artist Workshops, Shanghai: Duolun Museum of Modern Art, 2007
Wang, Huangsheng ed., Humanism in China: a Contemporary Record of Photography. Guangzhou: Lingnan meishu chubanshe, 2003
Wu, Hung, Wang Huangsheng and Feng Boyi eds., The First Guangzhou Triennial: Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese art (1990-2000), Guangzhou: Guangdong Museum of Art, 2002

Web-Based Resources:
In addition to printed sources, there are some excellent websites around: is the online version of the Dictionary of Art. is basically an on-line version of Julia Andrews, A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in 20th-century Chinese Art (New York, 1998), and has a very good range of illustrations. is a huge bibliography of modern Asian art, maintained by John Clark at the University of Sydney is a 'Bibliography of Contemporary Chinese art' maintained by Britta Erikson of Stanford University
798 Art Zone, is a useful site for sources of contemporary Chinese artists active commercially.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information An optional study trip to a museum exhibition is organised.
KeywordsContemporary Chinese Art,Society,Experimental Art,Art Market,Exhibition Studies
Course organiserDr Chia-Ling Yang
Tel: (0131 6)51 1370
Course secretaryMrs Anna Johns
Tel: (0131 6)51 5740
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