Call for Papers

Transcultural Curation:
China as a Method

Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University, in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery

 6-7 November 2020

Venue: Whitechapel Gallery, London, E1 7QX.

Abstracts submission deadline: 24 April 2020

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University aims to foster new understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies.

This two-day conference invites researchers, curators, artists, designers and practitioners at all stages of their careers to reassess the significance of transcultural curation of contemporary Chinese art in a global context.
The idea of the ‘transcultural’ is currently gaining momentum in academic, curatorial and artistic contexts, providing a framework for thinking through non-hegemonic global exchanges and knowledge production. Highlighting entanglements between and within cultures, the transcultural provides a new set of ethical, methodological and theoretical concerns, as well as a timely platform for curatorial and artistic practices in the globalised art world. What does the transcultural mean in the Chinese context? How do exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art engage with the idea and possibilities of transcultural curation, and with what kinds of political imaginaries? In what ways is Chinese contemporary art mobilised through international exhibitions situated in between institutional, commercial, independent art spaces and beyond?
Drawing on the rich history and debates on decolonial approaches that move beyond binaries and static positions of East-West, for example in the interventions of Mizoguchi Yuzo (China as Method, 1989) and Kuan-Hsing Chen (Asia as Method, 2010), we are exploring innovative discussions and methodological approaches in curatorial research and practice. This conference seeks to open up new modes of enquiry within the fields of art, design, curation, visual culture and cultural studies in China.   
Possible perspectives for proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • Curating China and its contemporary art
  • Transcultural curatorial practices
  • Production, dissemination, participation and reception of Chinese contemporary art in a global context
  • Relations between transcultural exhibitions and globalisation
  • Tensions between the local and the global
  • Art, flows and migration
  • Chinese contemporary art in the international arena, biennales and triennials

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words, a 100-word biography, contact information and any institutional affiliations, by 24 April 2020 to [log in to unmask], with a subject titled ‘13th CCVA Annual Conference’. Any general queries should also be directed to [log in to unmask]. Conference presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Successful proposals for conference contributions will be notified by 1 May 2020. Invited full papers will feature in the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect) and should be submitted by 1 March 2021, for a special issue in autumn 2021 edited by Prof. Jiang Jiehong and Dr. Nuria Querol.

For further information please email: [log in to unmask]

CCVA Website: 

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University is currently recruiting a postdoctoral research fellow. Further information about this post is available at:
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Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA)
Birmingham City University
School of Art
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