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First Contemporary Arts China Master's degree launches in UK

The new course will allow students to gain experience in the field of Contemporary Arts in China

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 06, 2016 | International

Europe’s first interdisciplinary Master’s degree bringing together artists, curators and researchers to develop their own research and practice in relation to Chinese Contemporary Arts launched on Thursday 27 October. 

Birmingham City University’s Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) has developed the new course to provide a unique opportunity to gain expertise in the field of Contemporary Arts in China, cultivating research and practice from multiple perspectives. 

Centred around practice-based research, theory and professional experience, the MA Contemporary Arts China offers students the chance to undertake an extended work placement with internationally renowned partner organisations, such as: 

This unique, specialist course has been designed to provide expert knowledge in a thriving interdisciplinary research environment that challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries facilitating original, thought-provoking research in an expanding field.

Working closely with the CCVA and its prestigious partner organisations, students will learn about complex issues and challenges within Chinese contemporary arts in a local, regional and global context.

Professor Jiang Jiehong, Course Director will be launching the MA Contemporary Arts China today with a webinar that offers an insight into current research and curatorial projects within the CCVA. He said: 

“At a time when Chinese art is really expanding and coming to prominence, this course becomes the perfect opportunity for us learn from each other through our original research, interdisciplinary practice and professional development.”

In a varied and vibrant working environment, students will also be introduced to broader issues of transcultural communication and the global arts ecology, responding creatively to a wide variety of cultural contexts and stimuli.

This course will encourage research in China that can go beyond the clichés - Karen Smith, Director at the OCAT Xi’an Museum

Karen Smith, Director at the OCAT Xi’an Museum, said:

“So much of what is written about China today is done without too much penetration into the actualities of China today. This course will encourage research in China that can go beyond the clichés, and the somewhat arbitrary demographics that have come into popular usage due to the limitations of access to research materials and to colleagues at work in China.

“The MA would enable postgraduate researchers to work on the ground and have access to a support network of curators, educators and artists.”

Recent graduates, artists, curators, designers, researchers and practitioners who want to pursue an international career in the arts can now apply for the Master’s degree, which commences next year with two entry points.  

Jonathan Watkins, Director of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, said: 

“Its emphasis on cultural exchange, and practical experience … expands the field of academic enquiry in art, for those based in China as well as the UK, whilst also making a valuable contribution to art education in the UK.”

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