Undergraduate Degree




DD3004 Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art

[Lectures: 26 hours; Tutorials: 19.5 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 4.0]




Academic Unit


4 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

To deliver to the student a chronological and critical overview of the art and cultural artefacts of modern and contemporary South East Asian history.


This course will focus on the developments in the visual arts in China from the end of the imperial period during the late nineteenth century to the present day and will relate them to broader changes in Chinese culture. It will look at the ways in which visual material forms and contexts art, as well as the social roles of its makers and audiences. The course will study how these change over this period and will also focus on a broad range of visual materials from painting in the ‘traditional’ and ‘western’ formats, through to performance and installation art; to graphics, photography and craft work. As an upper-level seminar class, this course aims to engage students in the process of research and interpretation both textual and visual, through lectures, discussions, presentations and the execution of a research paper.

Course Outline




Late Qing dynasty painting


Introduction of oil painting in China


New visual cultures of Republican China: advertising, graphics & design


Art & Resistance in wartime China


The institutions of the art world in the People’s Republic of China


Folk art, mass culture and mass media in the PRC


Art and visual culture in Maoist China (1966-1976)


‘Scar Art’ and painting after the Culture Revolution


The post-Maoist avant-garde


Globalization and consumption of ‘new Chinese art’ in the West


Issues in contemporary Chinese art


Student Presentations


Late Qing dynasty painting

Learning Outcome

The student will have learned the key figures, themes and ideas informing modern and contemporary South East Asian art.

Student Assessment

  1. Final Assessment: 40%

  2.  Continuous Assessment: 60% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments​


  1. Julia F. Andrews, Kuiyi Shen, A Century in Crisis: Tradition and Modernity in the Art of Twentieth Century China, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1998

  2. Julia F. Andrews, Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979, University of California Press

  3. Melissa Chu, Zheng Shengtian. Art and China’s Revolution, Asia Society

  4. Britta Erickson, On the Edge: Contemporary Chinese Artists Encounter the West, Timezone 8

  5. Gao Minglu. Inside Out: New Chinese Art, University of California Press

  6. Wu Hung, Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago