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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).


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. 


Dr Linzhi Zhang
Research Associate

Dr Linzhi Zhang is Research Associate to the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her research explains the social production of contemporary Chinese art, meaning how art is made and recognised as art through a series of social operations, and what roles social-cognitive factors play in shaping the art world. Studying contemporary art from a sociological perspective, she also draws upon methods and theories from art history, curatorial studies and museum studies. Her next research project will examine the social production of ink paintings and calligraphy in contemporary China, aiming for the theorisation of artistic production in response to postcolonialism.


Dr Jenifer Chao
Research Associate

Dr Jenifer Chao is a senior lecturer at the Leicester Media School of De Montfort University. Her research is situated at the confluence of cultural analysis, in particular visual culture, and International Relations. It focuses on the diverse ways that politics and aesthetics converge to address issues such as national identity and globalization. She is the Principle Investigator of an AHRC-funded Research Networking Scheme, entitled “Art Diplomacy and Nation Branding: The Visual Politics of Reinventing China”.


Dr Anita Xiaoming Wang
Research Associate

Dr. Anita Xiaoming Wang is Research Associate to the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University. From 01.2015 to 02.2018, she completed an Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral Research Fellowship in Chinese art history at the State Art Collection Dresden (SKD), Germany.


Dr Hongwei Bao
Research Associate

Dr Hongwei Bao is an Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham. His research primarily focuses on queer media and visual culture in contemporary China. He is currently researching Chinese queer art and film in the contemporary PRC. He has published articles on Chinese queer artists and filmmakers including Cui Zi’en, Fan Popo, He Xiaopei, Shi Tou and Xiyadie. He sits on the international advisory board of Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. He has co-supervised PhD projects on the use of contemporary Chinese art in cultural diplomacy, and on the representation of women in contemporary Chinese art (with Professor Jiehong Jiang through the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Programme).