Students’ artwork goes on display in British Consulate


Students from Birmingham City University’s newly opened Birmingham Institute of Fashion and Creative Art (BIFCA) in Wuhan, China have had their artwork chosen for display in the city’s British Consulate General. 

The artwork was spotted by Nick Whittingham, Consul General in Wuhan, who visited an exhibition at BIFCA that was organised as part of the British Council Wuhan’s Creativity and Innovation Week. 

Running from 12-16 December 2016, Creativity and Innovation Week took place across Hubei province in China. 

In preparing for the exhibition – titled ‘Wuhan – work in progress: The impact of urbanisation on the city and its life’ – students were encouraged to gain a greater awareness of their urban surroundings, as they challenged themselves for the first time to work on an interdisciplinary collaboration outside of their regular classes. 

Students at the Institute worked in groups during two, two-day workshops to develop ideas based around a brief set by the British Council, which focused on the impact of urbanisation on Wuhan and its life. 

Artwork was created in various mediums, including video, audio, photography, sculpture and interactive displays, and exhibited in the Birmingham Café at BIFCA during Creativity and Innovation Week. These pieces represented the work of students from all three creative arts degrees currently on offer at the Institute – Digital Media Technology, Landscape Architecture and Visual Communication. 

“We were all impressed by the strong engagement and creative potential of the students; showcasing skills which they have just started to develop. We are happy that we made a meaningful contribution to the city of Wuhan, and that the ties between BIFCA, the British Council and the Consulate-General have been further strengthened. We are certainly looking forward to many more exciting collaborations in the future.” 

British Consul-General Nick Whittingham attended the exhibition launch on Friday 16 December 2016 and was impressed by the diversity of ideas and media explored by the students. One of the pieces, titled ‘The balance between new and old in urban construction’ caught his eye. 

In this artwork, the students wanted to make people aware of the importance of the heritage of a city, especially regarding the current pace of development and growth. Given the relevance of the topic, Nick Whittingham expressed the wish to show it also at British Consulate-General in Wuhan and the artwork has now been installed there. 

“Vita and her teaching colleagues have done a great job of bringing out the best in the students. It has been one of my highlights of our Creativity and Innovation Week.” 

A partnership between Birmingham City University and Wuhan Textile University, BIFCA is the first non-profit, Chinese-foreign cooperatively run educational institution in Hubei province to offer undergraduate programmes. 

BIFCA boasts state-of-the-art facilities – including the latest 3D design and media production equipment – contained in a completely refurbished 10,000m² building on the Nanhu Campus at Wuhan Textile University. 

Opening in September 2016 with an intake of 280, its students have the option to spend half of their studies in the UK, studying at Birmingham City University’s brand new City Centre Campus. 

Going forward, it is Birmingham City University’s intention to make other subjects available to students in Wuhan, as well as to increase the range of its collaborations in China. 

‘Wuhan – work in progress: The impact of urbanisation on the city and its life’ is open to the public until March 2017 at BIFCA Building (7th Floor), Nanhu Campus, Wuhan Textile University, Wuhan.

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