Art studies

CCAA | Chinese Contemporary Art Award

CCAA | Chinese Contemporary Art Award

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How can we think of culture as a tool for understanding foreign societies?
Why do emerging countries consider cultural values as instrumental in their quest for modernisation?
How can art contribute to a country’s public image?

These are central questions in an increasingly globalised world. Through a case study on global culture, this online course on the first ever award for contemporary art in China aims to address these questions and to find some possible answers.

While working through six chapters, you will receive exclusive reading material, supplementary videos and background information about the developments in the Chinese art scene over the past 40 years, the Chinese Contemporary Art Award established by Mr Uli Sigg as well as the Sigg Collection as part of the newly created M+ museum in Hong Kong.

Moreover, you will gain insights into Chinese contemporary art, first-hand information about the art scene in China, and a wide range of contacts with relevant local and international institutions and actors.

The course is produced by the Centre of Further Education at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), based on research by IFCAR and presented by Michael Schindhelm on the e-learning platform

Zurich University of the Arts
Centre of Further Education
Prof. Elisabeth Danuser

Target Group

The CCAA online course is tailored to the needs and interests of curators, collectors, art managers, artists, journalists, cultural producers, gallery owners and researchers but equally attractive for curious individuals.


If you opt for the Certification of Accomplishment track, you must have experience in a cultural or artistic field in order to help shape your personal perspective. Such prior knowledge will help you while completing the assignment and applying models and methods.

With its audit track, the CCAA online course also welcomes curious individuals.

Learning Objectives

In this online course you will learn:

By working through the entire online course, you will acquire the skills and knowledge needed to analyse and navigate the Chinese contemporary art scene.

Course Structure

The course includes six chapters:

Suggested reading list

Belting, Hans 2011: Global Studies. Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz.
Chiu, Melissa 2008: Chinese Contemporary Art. 7 Things You Should Know. New York: AW Asia.
Fibicher, Bernhard (ed.) 2005: Mahjong. Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz. (exhibition catalogue)
Goodrow, Gérard A. 2014: Crossing China. Land of the Rising Art Scene. Köln: Daab.
Schindhelm, Michael et al. 2014: Why Hong Kong. Connecting Spaces Documents # 1, Zurich.
Wu, Hung 2014: Contemporary Chinese Art. A History: 1970s-2000s. London: Thames&Hudson.


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