The 8th Annual CCVA Conference: Transdisciplinary China: Research in Practice - 22nd October 2015

The 8th Annual CCVA Conference: Transdisciplinary China: Research in Practice - 22nd October 2015

2015-09-30 Recent

The 8th Annual CCVA Conference: Transdisciplinary China: Research in Practice 

22nd October 2015

The Shell, Parkside Building, Birmingham City University (BCU), Millennium Point, Birmingham, B4 7XG, UK


Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) presents Transdiciplinary China: Research in Practice - a one-day symposium that seeks to interrogate the nature and significance of transdisciplinary research and arts practice in and about contemporary China, its arts and culture.

Jonathan Harris, Professor in Global Art and Design Studies at Birmingham City University (BCU) will deliver the keynote address entitled The Global Asian Contemporary Art World: Analytic Perspectives, Shen Xin, CCVA and Chronus Arts Centre fellow will present Shoulders of Giants with Prof Johnny Golding,  Philosopher and Director of the PHD/Post-doctoral Centre for Fine Art Research at BCU, alongside presentations and panel discussions from established and emerging researchers, artists, curators and academics from UK, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Russia, Poland, Italy amongst others. Collectively these will serve to generate discussion and enable us to identify common areas of interest and communities of practice; to share, encourage and support new research as it happens with a global audience.

The event will consider:

The nature and the significance of transdisciplinary research and practice, and how these dialogues create new knowledge;

The importance, impact, influence and potential of transcultural research;

New ways of framing and discussing Chinese Contemporary Arts that moves beyond the traditional East/West paradigm;

The significance of practice-based and practice-led research in relation to Chinese contemporary arts and culture. 

With presentations from: 
Zara Arshad - Claudio Beorchia - Magdalena Furmanik-Kowalska - Birgit Hopfener - Olga Makshanova - Keung Hung - Tobia Maschio - Kira Simon-Kennedy  - Tang Siyun - Zhu Xiaowen & Lucy Brydon.

Register at:

For further information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Keynote speakers


Shen Xin
Artist, CCVA and CAC Fellow 2015


Title: Shoulders of Giants 

Abstract: Shoulders of Giants appropriates and extends the model of a symposium through animation, performance and projection. On the occasion of "Transdisciplinary China: Research in Practice", the invited speaker Johnny Golding will animate creature derived from Shan Hai Jing (Also known as The Classics of Mountains and Seas, C4th BC) as she speaks, discusses with other speakers participating in the one day conference, and conduct Q&A. 

Shoulders of Giants was firstly held on 29 July 2015 at Senate House, London, with Esther Leslie, Hannah Black, Mark Fisher and Simon O'Sullivan. The project consistently seeks to investigate the strategies that artists, theorists and critics employ to deal with mechanisms of power – such as oppression and censorship, surveillance and punishment, unemployment and estranged labour – that are inherent in daily politics; to highlight the many desires that are afloat where power multiplies, unfolds, fluctuates, and diminishes; to render visible the physical and psychological affects that they have.

It will position theoretical and artistic practices as practice of action, and therefore looks at how the dispositions of each practitioner are appropriated in various modes in order to produce subjectivity, to communicate change and to form solidarity.Establishing thinking and making as forms of liquidity in race with capital, the event will consider the implications of such positioning and its potential to redirect and reorganise power relations through what happens and as it happens – to speculate upon how such strategies transcend perceived limitations. 

Shoulders of Giants is supported by Chinese Centre for Visual Arts (CCVA), Birmingham City University, and Faceshift; funded by Chronus Art Centre.

Bio:  SHEN Xin lives and works in London. Her work has recently been shown at CAC (Shanghai), W139 (Amsterdam), IMT Gallery (London), The National Art Centre (Tokyo), ICA (London), World Museum (Liverpool) and Chisenhale Gallery (London) among other places. SHEN was selected for the touring exhibitions of Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 upon graduating from Slade School of Fine Art. She is the recipient of the CAC (Chronus Art Centre in Shanghai) Fellowship for Chinese Artist at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and Centre for Chinese Visual Arts in Birmingham (2015). Upcoming screenings and shows include CG-Arts (Kagoshima, Japan), Global Committee (New York), OCAT (Shanghai), CAC (Shanghai). SHEN’s practice concerns the social position of the artistand is is foregrounded by moving image work. 

Professor Johnny Golding
Chair in Philosophy and Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art and is Director of the PHD/Post-Doctoral Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR), Birmingham City University.

Cry Me an Ocean: A Short History of the Present

Abstract: In the everyday politics of mass murder, mass repression, mass sexual assault and mass starvation, these violently dystopic hells unite in their mass cruelty to create one thing rather effectively: they produce a blanket nomadism, a de-territorialisation so profound as to force the nation-state, its armies, legislators, and its people (that is to say, ‘the people’) into a wild, albeit ineffective, nonsense game of three halves. On the one hand: an Us v Them clarion call; on the other hand: a ‘not-in-my-backyard’ ethnic cleanse; and on the third hand: a collective outpouring of despair, fear, exhaustion, anger, nausea – label it as one may – all in the name of this dying ember called ‘humanity’. Dotted amongst the three halves exist the unnamed medics, journalists, artists, philosophers, scientists, technicians, economists, housewives, poets, punks, little girls, little boys, ballerinas, the diseased, the middle class, the poor, the once well-healed, the queer – all now walking, swimming, drowning, crying, reaching out, getting shot, moving on, being moved on.
Handing out blankets. Not giving up. Throwing in the towel. Prostrated, dead on a beach.  Recorded warfare savagery and its consequences dating from at least the 12th century BC onward suggests the age-old question: was it not ever thus? The short, easy, answer seems a resounding ‘yes’. The longer, more accurate one, around which this story cautiously unfolds, is ‘no, not exactly’. 

Bio: Prof Johnny Golding holds the Chair in Philosophy and Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art and is Director of the PHD/Post-Doctoral Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR), Birmingham City University.  A firm believer in research led by curiosity, experiment and risk, Prof Golding is renowned for her philosophy enactments, installations and sound-scape exhibitions.  Her research covers the intra-disciplinary intersections of the logics of sense, including poetics, fine art, contemporary philosophy and the ‘wild sciences.’ Recent publications include:  In the Shadow of Akimbo Corporatism: The ‘Becoming-Human’ of a People; Fractal Philosophy and the Small Matter of Attunement;  and Ana-Materialism and the Pineal Eye. Films include: Once Upon a Wormhole and Games of Truth: Blood Poetics in 7 part harmony. She is executive Editor for the internationally peer reviewed / gold standard journal, Zetesis (ARTicle Press).

 Professor Jonathan Harris
Professor in Global Art and Design Studies at Birmingham City University

Title:  The Global Asian Contemporary Art World: Analytic Perspectives

Abstract: The rise of Chinese contemporary art over the last two decades has reflected the global economic power of the People's Republic as it has grown to be the second largest nation-state economy in the world. Yet two sets of questions attend on this development which I will address in my lecture. Firstly, how does Chinese contemporary art and culture make sense within a broader understanding of a now 'Global Asia'?. What designations and affiliations does this term 'Asia' invoke - compared with 'Europe' or the 'Americas'? Secondly, how have globalization processes attenuated the cultural meanings of 'Chineseness' specifically? What kinds of representativeness can artworks reasonably be held to sustain within attempts to analyse the component elements of a global contemporary art world?  

Bio:  Jonathan Harris is newly-appointed Research Professor in Global Art and Design Studies at BCU. He is author and editor of 20 books, including The New Art History (2001 Routledge, translated into Mandarin, Korean, Turkish and Farsi), Globalization and Contemporary Art (2011 Wiley Blackwell) and The Utopian Globalists: Artists of Worldwide Revolution, 1919-2009 (2013 Wiley Blackwell). His next book will be The Global Contemporary Art World: A Rough Guide (2016 Wiley Blackwell). Harris has lectured and taught at many universities and museums around the world over a thirty year period, recently including Seoul Museum of Art, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Royal College of Art London and Sotherby's Institute, New York. He is editor, along with Menene Gras (CasaAsia) and Bashir Makhoul (BCU), of IB Tauris book series Contemporary Art and Visual Culture in Global Asia.

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