Our people

Professor Jiang Jiehong
Director of Centre for Chinese Visual 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).


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
Programme Leader, MA Contemporary Arts China

Dr Monica Merlin is the newly appointed Programme Leader for the MA Contemporary Arts China at Birmingham City University. She joins BCU and CCVA after a post as lecturer in the MA Arts of China at Christie’s Education (London).

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.


Hiu Man Chan
Research Assistant & Leverhulme Project Facilitator

Hiu joined the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts in September 2016, through Professor Jiang Jiehong's Leverhulme International Networks Award for a two-year project titled "Everyday Legend: reinventing traditions in Chinese contemporary art". Her responsibilities at the Centre include facilitating the Leverhulme research project and the Centre's general research activities, as well as coordinating the Centre's daily administration. She is also editorial assistant for the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.


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 smells cape.