Liu Wei, Tiananmen (Detail), 2009-2010.
Short Course

Crossroads: Chinese Contemporary Art

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Fees: HK$10,000.00


What is Chinese contemporary art, and how has it developed in recent years? How does one make sense of Chinese art in a global context? What implications does the market have on Chinese artists today?

Chinese Contemporary Art will explore these questions and more. From the Open Door Policy of 1979, which prompted the emergence of Chinese contemporary art, to the evolution of global attention on art from China over the subsequent decades, the course looks at how artists and various forms of creative expression have developed during a period of significant political and economic change. We will pay particular attention to how these artists worked with and responded to China’s rapidly changing social conditions.

Comprised of seven sessions, the program aims to give participants an understanding of Chinese contemporary art and how it relates to other artists, history and the art market. The course includes lectures given by renowned academics, curators and Christie’s specialists with expert-led gallery tours, offering participants a rich and diverse insight into the landscape of Chinese contemporary art.
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Course dates

Date & Time
12 October - 23 November 2017
Thursdays, 6:30 - 7:45pm

Christie’s, 22/F Alexandra House, Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, No.1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (23 November)



(Discounted rate of HK$9,000 if paid in full by 21 Sep 2017)

Session One | Thu 12 Oct | Historical Context of Chinese Contemporary Art
The first lecture explores the historical and economic background of the evolution of Chinese contemporary art. We will look at the early development of Chinese contemporary art in the 1970s, the ’85 New Wave and ’89 Avant-Garde exhibitions, and the rise of Chinese contemporary art on the international stage in the 1990s.

Session Two | Thu 19 Oct | New Oil Painting: Political Pop and Cynical Realism
This session takes a deeper look at avant-garde artists who worked in oil painting in the 1990s. In particular, we will cover the styles of Cynical Realism and Political Pop, through which artists explore individual expressions and different interpretations of the rapid societal changes. Artists covered include Fang Lijun, Liu Wei, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, and Zhang Xiaogang.

Session Three | Thu 26 Oct | Contemporary Ink: Evolution and Innovation
Ink has been the traditional medium of Chinese art, and this lecture explores the contemporary artists who reinterpret this classical genre in new and meaningful ways. Some artists, such as Li Huayi and Liu Dan, are inspired by the literati spirit, while others, such as Gu Wenda, Liu Kuo-Sung, Yang Jiechang, and Zheng Chongbin experiment with abstraction, innovative techniques, and conceptual approaches.

Session Four | Thu 2 Nov | Vernacular Voices: Art in Hong Kong

With the arrival of international auction houses, major art fairs and world-class museums, Hong Kong has become an important hub for the art community in Asia. What implications does this bring for Hong Kong artists? This session will address how the art scene in Hong Kong has developed in the past decade, and how artists such as Chow Chun Fai, Lee Kit, Pak Sheung Chuen, Tsang Kin-Wah, and Wucius Wong situate themselves in the context of China contemporary art.

Session Five | Thu 9 Nov | Experimental Art: Many Media, Many Meanings
Chinese contemporary art has always been more than paintings: experiments abound in photography, video, film, performance, and installation. This lecture will focus on Cao Fei’s films and multimedia installations, Song Dong’s performances, Yin Xiuzhen’s installations, Zhang Peili, Zhu Jia and Wang Gongxin’s videos, Zhuang Hui and Xing Danwen’s photographs, and to explore the many media and many meanings in Chinese contemporary art.

Session Six | Thu 16 Nov | Market Discussion and Handling Session
This class includes a discussion with a Christie’s specialist about the current state of the Chinese contemporary art market, as well as handling session to better understand the materials and mediums of works of art.

Session Seven | Thu 23 Nov | Tour of Christie’s Autumn Preview
Join Christie’s specialists on a tour of Christie’s Autumn 2017 Auction Preview.

Schedule and topics are subject to change. Please check back for updates.

A letter of attendance will be issued to participants who attend all sessions. 

(Discounted rate of HK$9,000 if paid in full by 21 Sep 2017)


Caroline Ha Thuc 
Independent art writer and curator

Caroline Ha Thuc is a French Hong Kong based independent art writer and curator, currently a PhD candidate at CityU Hong Kong.

Specialized in Asian contemporary art, she contributes to different magazines such as ArtPress in France and Artomity/Am Post in Hong Kong.

Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Ha Thuc spent two years in Tokyo and published ‘Nouvel Art Contemporain Japonais’ (Nouvelles Editions Scala 2012) about the post-Murakami Japanese art scene. Her book ‘Contemporary Art in Hong Kong’ (Asia One, 2013), which was first published in France (Nouvelles Editions Scala, 2013) provides essential keys to apprehend the city’s vibrant contemporary landscape and exposes the countless links between art, history, culture and identity. She recently published a book about Chinese contemporary art analysing the interactions between the art scene and China’s rapidly changing society (‘After 2000 : Contemporary Art in China’ published in French language Nouvelles Editions Scala, France 2014 & MIP, Hong Kong 2015 for the English and comprehensive version).

As a curator, she focuses on promoting dialogue between artists from different cultures, while reflecting on social and political contemporary issues. Her recent exhibitions include ‘Radiance’ (French May, Hong Kong, 2014), ‘Hong Kong Bestiary’ (Platform China, Hong Kong, 2014), ‘Shelters of Resistance’ an in-situ installation by Kacey Wong in the courtyard of the City Hall (YIA Art Fair Paris, 2015) and ‘The Human Body: Measure and Norms’ (Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2015). She is on the International Curatorial Advisory Board of the Open Sky Gallery in Hong Kong and curated the 5th Large-scale Urban Media Arts Festival, 2016. Her last exhibition, ‘Carnival’ (Hong Kong, 2017), mixes visual arts and many other disciplines such as dance, theatre and poetry. It features 20 Hong Kong-based artists and is organised at the benefice of Amnesty International.

Catherine Maudsley
Art Historian, Curator and Advisor

Embarking on her academic studies in 1975, Catherine Maudsley holds a BA, MA and MPhil in the field of Asian fine arts and culture. The recipient of numerous awards, research fellowships and gold medals, Catherine was a Connaught Research Scholar at the University of Toronto, a Canada-China Exchange Scholar at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.

As an independent fine arts professional, she provides art advisory, research and curatorial services to individuals and corporations on the development and management of fine arts collections. She is noted both for her expertise in Chinese painting and broad range of intellectual interests. For over 30 years, Catherine has also been active as a speaker, educator, and writer in Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China and Southeast Asia, addressing global forums and over 40 cultural and fine arts organizations and contributing to publications such as Arts of Asia, The Asian Art Newspaper and Orientations.

Vivian Sheng
Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Sheng teaches courses on Chinese contemporary art, global feminist art history and transnational art and visual culture. Before taking her position at University of Hong Kong, she was a lecturer in modern and contemporary art history and theory at the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, UK. Her current book project Everyday Extraordinary—Women, Chinese Avant-Grade Art and the Local-global Nexus (provisional) attaches specific importance to women’s contributions to the development of avant-garde art in mainland China and their transnational, transcultural artistic commitments since the 1990s, challenging the conventional discourses of Chinese avant-garde art, which marginalize women’s practices, and raising questions about the interaction and negotiation between women and globalization. She was a World Universities Network Research Mobility Fellow in Visual and Cultural Studies at University of Rochester, US in 2014 and a UCCL (Universities’ China Committee in London) Research Fellow at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong in 2016. Her interests include Chinese and East Asian contemporary art and visual culture, transnational feminist philosophy and theory, contemporary participatory and community-based art projects, and migration, diaspora, exile and ‘homemaking’ in modern and contemporary art.

Frank Vigneron
Head & Professor, Graduate Division of Fine Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Professor Vigneron received a Ph.D. in Chinese Art History from the Paris VII University, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Paris IV Sorbonne University and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He joined the Department of Fine Arts, CUHK in 2004, teaching courses on the History of Western Art, the theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in art, and Chinese and Western comparative aesthetics. His research focus is on the history of Chinese painting from the 18th century onwards and on different aspects of contemporary Chinese art seen in a global context. In 2010, he became Chair of the Hong Kong Art School Academic Committee as well as a member of the Hong Kong Art School Council. He is also a member of the International Association of Art Critics Hong Kong. Professor Vigneron is also a practicing artist. He has held several solo exhibitions in Hong Kong and has taken part in local and international exhibitions.



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