Conferences

The 12th Annual Conference

Urban Transformations and Contemporary Art in China

Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University, in collaboration with Tate Liverpool

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University aims to foster new understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai-Liverpool twinning cities in 2019, we are now convening the 12th CCVA Annual Conference in collaboration with Tate Liverpool. This two-day event invites researchers, curators, artists, designers and architects in the fields of art, design, visual culture and urban studies at all stages of their careers worldwide to reassess the significance of the urban transformations in China, and to reflect upon their impact on everyday experience and artistic and curatorial practices in the globalised world.

In recent decades, China has experienced a revolutionary urban development. The incessant changes have shaped a moving reality, almost illusive, beyond the normal and tangible environment of daily life. The rapidity of today’s urbanisation is a global issue, and yet the example of contemporary cities in China is singular, filled with excitement and anxiety. Histories have been destroyed, and heritage and memories are being reinvented for the future. How do we re-examine the triumph of economic achievement and urban development, or the loss, through sociological, anthropological, cultural and artistic perspectives? For those insiders – artists who are living through the accelerated development and its disturbance, how to capture and interpret the transient, to respond critically to such an urban existence, and to imagine a unique or almost surreal experience in China?

We encourage papers from a variety of subject areas to develop interdisciplinary perspectives and new understandings on the development of Chinese contemporary art in the context of social, cultural and urban transformations. The following set of areas is indicative, as examples, but not limited to the discussions:

  • Art and urban transformations
  • Art and its ecology in urbanised China
  • Art production, dissemination, participation and reception in public realm
  • Collective and private spaces: squares, streets and residences
  • Artists' lives in the cities
  • Art districts: audience and tourists
  • Art and migration
  • Urban development and cultural identities
  • Biennials and art fairs

Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words, a 100-word biography, contact information and any institutional affiliations, by 1 February 2019 to ccva@bcu.ac.uk, with a subject titled ‘12th CCVA Annual Conference’. Any general queries should also be directed to ccva@bcu.ac.uk. Conference presentations should last no more than 20 minutes. Successful proposals for conference contributions will be notified by the end of February 2019. Invited full papers should be submitted by 31 January 2020, to be featured in  (Intellect) as a special issue in autumn of the year.