Global China: Contemporary Chinese Art and Geopolitics - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Global China: Contemporary Chinese Art and Geopolitics

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MA History of Art Special Option

Global China: Contemporary Chinese Art and Geopolitics

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‘Elegy: Explosion Event for the Opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave’. Credit: Photo by Lin Yi, courtesy Cai Studio, New York, USA.
‘Sky of Beijing—Digging a Hole in New York’, 2017, Wang Gongxin, image courtesy of the artist, Beijing, China.
‘Elegy: Explosion Event for the Opening of Cai Guo-Qiang: The Ninth Wave’. Credit: Photo by Lin Yi, courtesy Cai Studio, New York, USA.
‘Sky of Beijing—Digging a Hole in New York’, 2017, Wang Gongxin, image courtesy of the artist, Beijing, China.

Dr Wenny Teo

After over a century of imperialist subjugation, civil war and violent revolution, China is leading the charge towards a ‘new world order’ and has demonstrated some of the most remarkable examples of social and economic transformation in human history. China’s impact on the global economy can no longer be denied – but could it also change our fundamental ideas about art, politics and power?

This MA Special Option explores China’s global interactions from the early 20th century to the present day through the lens of art, visual culture and critical theory. This course also maps out a more complex and ambivalent picture of global exchange; challenging the conventional assumptions of a ‘unidirectional flow’ of ideas from the West to ‘the rest’ by interrogating dominant narratives of modernism and the ever shifting definitions of the contemporary.

Courtauld Course Lecturer

About the lecturer

Wenny Teo (张温惠) received a BA in History of Art and English Literature from the University of York (2003), and a MA (2004) and PhD (2011) in History of Art from University College London. Her doctoral thesis, ‘One World, One Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art and Spectacle’, supervised by Professor Briony Fer, examined the highly ambivalent relationship between contemporary Chinese art and spectacle from China’s ‘open door’ reforms in 1978 to the historical watershed of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Her research currently centres on socially engaged and participatory East and Southeast Asian art, subversive practices, geopolitics, language art and online visual culture.

Prior to joining The Courtauld as the Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art in 2012, she worked as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and as curatorial assistant at Tate Modern. In 2014, she was an associate curator of We Have Never Participated – the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, and is currently co-curating an exhibition of newly commissioned Chinese outdoor installations at Cass Sculpture Foundation that will open in May 2016.

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