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Short Course

Contemporary Asian Art: An Insider’s View

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Fees: HK$22,000.00


This program provides a broad spectrum of views into the world of contemporary Asian art. It provides art historical training that includes learning how to look and write about contemporary Asian art. With this as foundation, we examine the market as a platform for contemporary art and the power of mega-art events and institutions to shift cultural landscapes. The final day will share meaningful ways to engage with contemporary Asian art, whether through careers or through collecting. The aim of this seminar series is to equip participants with the tools to navigate the art world. Class format includes seminars, site visits, and discussions with industry experts. No prior experience in the arts is necessary, although we encourage active participation through group exercises, discussions, and networking lunches.

Jointly taught and organized by the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Arts and Christie’s Education, this five-day program leverages the expertise of the two institutions. The art historical portion of the program is conceived and delivered by the world-class faculty at the Fine Arts Department of the University of Hong Kong, while the market-related portion is developed by Christie’s Education.

Faculty of Arts, HKU
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Course dates

15 - 19 May 2017 | Monday - Friday

10am - 5pm

Run Run Shaw Tower, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam


HK$25,000 Regular
HK$22,000 Early-Bird (payment by 14 April 2017)

Scholarship & Group Discount
Limited scholarship places available at HK$9,000; special rates for group of 3 or more are also available.
Please contact Ms Georgina Challen for more information.


Georgina Challen / +852 3917 4250

Monday, 15 May | How to Look at Art - Part I

The program begins with a series of seminars on how to look at modern and contemporary art. While the seminars will be anchored in Chinese artists from the 20th century onwards, the emphasis will be on approaches in looking at art, with the aim of equipping participants with tools for analysis of works of art across different time periods and mediums. We will visit an artist studio, and hear firsthand about artists’ ideas, methods, and practice.

  • Program Introduction
  • The Myth of the Modern
  • The Lure of the Modern
  • How to talk about art: Techniques of looking and writing
  • Chinese Contemporary Art
  • Visit: Artist Studio


Tuesday, 16 May | How to Look at Art – Part II

We continue with looking at art from different areas in Asia, with lectures about contemporary art created in Japan and India. The afternoon will include an exercise on stylistic analysis, so participants will have the opportunity to apply the approaches learned in the previous two days, before heading to an art gallery to look at original works of art and installation methods.

  • Japanese Contemporary Art
  • Indian Contemporary Art
  • Group Exercise: Stylistic Analysis
  • Visit: Art Gallery


Wednesday, 17 May | Contemporary Art Markets

Day three is about how the market shapes our understanding of contemporary art. We begin by looking at the different aspects of the art market, and how the various roles have changed in the past few decades. The afternoon begins with a group exercise to better understand the different channels available in art collecting. The day concludes with conversations with a top art fair director and a gallerist on their respective business models.

  • Mapping the Contemporary Art Market
  • How to be an Auctioneer
  • Group Exercise: What is the best place to buy art?
  • Conversation: Fair Director


Thursday, 18 May | Institutions in the Art World

On the fourth day we will examine non-profit enterprises, whether they be national museums, small-scale alternatives spaces, and city-wide biennales. Christie’s experts will analyze the different attributes that determine the value of a work of art, and explain how auctions work. A visit to one of the city’s top institutions concludes the day, where we will hear from the Executive Director on the museum’s vision and strategy.

  • Institutions in the Art World
  • The Biennale
  • The Auction House
  • The Museum


Friday, 19 May | Art Matters

The program concludes with a series of case studies on different ways to pursue a passion in the arts. There will be a discussion with practitioners at different stages of their careers in the arts, offering perspectives from both the commercial and academic sectors. We will also hear from people who engage with the arts in other ways, whether through consulting by leveraging relevant expertise, or being an art collector, and supporting artists and institutions through patronage. We finish with a series of reflections and a graduation ceremony to tie together the learnings of the week.

  • Visit & Conversation: Collector
  • Panel: Careers in the Art World
  • Group Exercise: Reflections & Conclusions
  • Graduation Ceremony

Program details are subject to change.


Letter of attendance will be issued to participants who attend and participate in all sessions.
HK$25,000 Regular
HK$22,000 Early-Bird (payment by 14 April 2017)

Scholarship & Group Discount

Limited scholarship places available at HK$9,000; applicants must be able to demonstrate need and complete a short application. Special rates for group of 3 or more are also available. Please contact Ms Georgina Challen ( / +852 3917 4250) for more information. 

Yeewan Koon
Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Yeewan Koon is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Hong Kong. She began her training at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, followed by her doctoral degree at the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU) in New York. She was a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, before taking up her position here in Hong Kong. Recent publications include her book, A Defiant Brush: Su Renshan and The Politics of Painting in Early 19th Century Guangdong (2014). She is the recipient of several research awards including a RGC grant (2014) for her new book project on the “self-knowing copy” in Chinese art, and a Henry Luce/ACLS fellowship in China Studies Collaborative Reading Workshop (2015). She is currently working on her new research on emulations and fabrications of Chinese paintings that challenge ideals of the original.

Elaine Kwok
Director, Christie’s Education, Asia
Elaine Kwok is the Director for Christie’s Education in Asia, where she oversees the development of programs in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Ms. Kwok joined Christie’s in 2007, working first with the Asian Art and Wine Departments at Christie's London offices, before re-locating to Asia in 2008 in the role of Business Manager.

Elaine is also an Auctioneer for Christie’s sales in Hong Kong and London, and conducts auctions in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Through auctioneering, she has supported numerous charities, including Asia Art Archive, Chinese Exploration and Research Fund, Film Aid, Half the Sky, Operation Smile, Teach for China, The Women’s Foundation among others.

Before joining the auction industry, Elaine worked as a Financial Analyst in Equity Research at Goldman Sachs, and in the Development Office at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her work has been published in Art Newspaper and Orientations, amongst other magazines. Elaine studied History & Literature at Harvard University, and holds an MA in History of Art & Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, as well as an MBA from Stanford University.

Roslyn Hammers
Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Roslyn Hammers is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Hong Kong. She teaches courses on Chinese painting, South Asian art, and Asian architectural history. Dr. Hammers received her BA from University of Pittsburgh and is a MA and PhD graduate of the University of Michigan. She was an assistant professor of art history and visual culture studies at Whitman College, Washington state, before taking her position at University of Hong Kong. Dr. Hammers has published the book Pictures of Tilling and Weaving: Art, Labor and Technology in Song and Yuan China (Hong Hong University Press, 2011). She was a fellow at the Needham Research Institute, Cambridge University, U.K. as well as at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C. Her interests include Song and Yuan dynasty artistic practices, the relationships between technological imagery and art, and the cross-cultural reception of art between Asia and non-Asia.

Kathleen Wyma
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Kathleen Wyma is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Hong Kong. She received her BFA, MA and PhD from the University of British Columbia, and teaches courses on contemporary global, modern and South Asian art history. Her research focuses on post 1945 Indian art, with a special interest in post colonialism and the impact of intercultural exchange in an increasing globalized art world. She has published numerous articles, exhibition catalogues, and in July 2013, she curated the exhibition The Material Point: Reconsidering the Medium in the (Post) Modern Moment at Gallery OED in Cochin, India. The show included 19 international artists of Indian origin and sought to open up dialogue and encourage debate about the current state of “materiality” and its role in artistic production. Her forthcoming article, “CounterPraxis: The Indian Radical Painters and Sculptors Association” focuses upon a Kerala-based artistic collective who, through a series of exhibitions and interventions, actively questioned the theoretical and political assumptions of Indian contemporary art as it developed throughout the 1980s. In addition, she is currently working on her book manuscript, The Discourse and Practice of Radicalism in Contemporary Indian Art and amonograph on the contemporary Indian artist Rajan Krishnan. Before joining HKU, she taught at various institutions in Vancouver, Canada: The University of British Columbia, The University of the Fraser Valley and Emily Carr University.

Program speakers are subject to change.
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