Our people

Professor Jiang Jiehong
Director of Centre for Chinese Visual Arts
Professor in Chinese Art

Professor Jiang Jiehong is Head of Research at School of Art, Director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University, and he is also Principal Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect). Jiang has extensive research and curatorial experience in contemporary art and visual culture. Jiang curated the Guangzhou Triennial: the Unseen (with Jonathan Watkins, 2012), the Asia Triennial Manchester: Harmonious Society (2014), the Shadow Never Lies (with Mark Nash, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, 2016), the Distant Unknown: Contemporary Art from Britain (OCAT Shanghai, 2016) and currently, the First Thailand Biennale: Edge of the Wonderland (Krabi, 2018-19). Jiang’s book publications include Burden or Legacy: from the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Contemporary Art (Hong Kong University Press, 2007), the Revolution Continues: New Art from China (Jonathan Cape, 2008), Red: China’s Cultural Revolution (Jonathan Cape, 2010) and An Era without Memory: Chinese Contemporary Photography on Urban Transformation (Thames and Hudson, 2015).


Hiu Man Chan
Research Assistant 

Hiu is Research Assistant to the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts and Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Artan associated journal of the centre. 


Professor Jonathan Harris 

Professor and Head of School, School of Art

Professor Jonathan Harris has a PhD on American art and politics in the 1930s (CNAA 1986) and has taught at several British universities including Keele, Liverpool, Southampton and now Birmingham City University. Specialising in modernist and contemporary art, Harris has published 20 books and over 100 book and journal essays. Harris’s most recent studies are Globalization and Contemporary Art (Wiley-Blackwell 2011), The Utopians Globalists: Artists of Worldwide Revolution, 1919-2009 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) and The Global Contemporary Art World: A Rough Guide (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming 2017).


Dr Monica Merlin
Research Associate 

Dr Monica Merlin is Research Associate to the School of Art as well as Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University.

Following a BA in Chinese Studies specialising in Chinese Art and Archaeology at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice), Monica lived and worked in Beijing for two years. She returned to Europe to pursue an MA in Asian Art at SOAS (2007), and after two years as curator in a contemporary Chinese art gallery in London, she continued her studies gaining a DPhil (2013) at The University of Oxford with a thesis on early modern Chinese art.

Monica conducted her post-doctoral research (2013-14) at the Tate Research Centre: Asia with a project on contemporary Chinese women artists. Her major research interests lie in contemporary Chinese art and visual culture, women artists and gender, socially and politically engaged art, and transcultural communication.


Dr Nuria Querol
Senior Lecturer in Art Theory
Programme Leader, MA Contemporary Arts China

Dr Nuria Querol is Senior Lecturer in Art Theory and Programme Leader for the MA Contemporary Arts China. Before joining Birmingham City University, she lectured at various universities including the Slade School of Fine Art, Central Saint Martins and King’s College London. 

Nuria is an art historian and curator whose expertise lies in transcultural art and curating, global collaborations and contemporary art in Asia, primarily China and India. She lived and worked in Beijing for three years where she was Visiting Research Fellow at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Peking University, and conducted fieldwork on curating Chinese contemporary art.

Nuria is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds a PhD in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art. 

She is currently completing her monograph Transcultural Curating. Contemporary Indian Art in a Global Context, forthcoming with Liverpool University Press (2019).


Dr Jieling Xiao
Lecturer in Environmental Design 

Jieling obtained her MArch in Urban Design from University College London (UCL) and her BArch in Architecture from Wuhan University of Technology in China (WHUT). She then completed her PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield, exploring smellscapes in intermodal transit spaces in the UK and China. Her doctoral study generated a framework of interpreting, evaluating and designing smellscapes in intermodal transit spaces. Jieling’s research focuses on theories and practices of place-making and environmental design through people’s sensory experiences, particularly soundscape and smellscape.