Key aims and expertise
The Centre for Contemporary East-Asian Cultural Studies (CEACS) was founded in March 2012, formed as part of the School of Cultures Languages and Area Studies’ overall strategy to expand and develop East-Asian Studies.
Drawing on established expertise at the University of Nottingham’s campuses in China and Malaysia as well as in the UK, CEACS provides a unique focus for interdisciplinary research networking, international mobility, knowledge transfer and public impact involving scholars, research students and practitioners engaged in the study of East-Asian cultures both within East Asia and beyond.
Whilst CEACS embraces the contemporary critical turn within the humanities, it also seeks to engage critically with differing cultural perspectives associated with traditional and contemporary East-Asian cultural thought and practice.
Members of CEACS have expertise in the following areas:
- Contemporary Chinese visual art
- Museums and galleries sector in China
- Transnational East Asian film and television
- Cultural Policy and Creative Industries in China
- New media and social media in China
- Gender, sexuality and social movements in Asia
‘New China/New Art: Contemporary Video from Shanghai and Hangzhou'
An exhibition at the Djanogly Art Centre, the University of Nottingham, 4 September – 1 November 2015
CEACS is currently developing two major research projects involving collaboration and knowledge exchange with other HEIs and cultural institutions
‘Art, Curating and Social Engagement in Contemporary China'
(PI Paul Gladston); also involving Tate Modern, The Guggenheim Museum NYC, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, Hong Kong City University, Courtauld Institute, New York University in Shanghai, UNNC
‘Public Display and Contested Presents in the PRC after 2002’
UNNC (co-organised by Roberta Pearson (UoN) and Fintan Cullen (Dean of Arts and Humanities UNNC)); also involving Loughborough University and the University of Nanjing
Bids to for significant UK funding are currently in preparation in relation to both projects with the support of the University of Nottingham’s Centre for Advanced Studies.
‘Annual Chinese Documentary Film Festival’
The Broadway Cinema, Nottingham – 2014 and 2015
(co-organiser Dr Hongwei Bao)
‘Art, Curating and Social Engagement in Contemporary china’
A Conference at the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), Shanghai, November 2014
(co-organised by CEACS and RAM – proceedings to be published by Routledge, 2016)
‘The 'Korean Wave' in Southeast Asia: Consumption and Cultural Production’
A Conference at University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, January 2013
(co-organised by Julian Stringer and Mary Jane Ainslie)
'Contemporary Chinese Art and Cultural Translation’
Arts and Humanities Research Council bid for research funding related to the theme ‘Cultural Translation’
‘What’s China Thinking?’
A Public Panel at the Royal Festival Hall, London, October 2012
(chaired by Paul Gladston – other panel members include Sun Shuyun, author, filmmaker and broadcaster and Wang Chunchen, curator at CAFA, Beijing)
‘Art Education at Chinese Museums’
A Conference at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, October 2012
(keynote speech by Paul Gladston alongside Philip Dodd (BBC and ICA) and Hou Hanru - initiating a collaborative project on arts education involving CEACS, the Rockbund Art Museum and the China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou)
Successful Application to take part in the ‘Sino-UK Higher Education Symposium on Creative Media Industry, 2012’
Organised by the British Council, Beijing
Art of Change: New Directions from China
An Exhibition at The Hayward Gallery, the Southbank Centre, London, September-December 2012
‘Current Research into East-Asian Visual Culture’
A Conference at Tate Modern, June 2012
(co-organised by CEACS, Tate Modern, Chinese Art Centre, Manchester and York University – selected papers to be published as a special edition of Tate Papers)
Book Length Publications:
Gladston, Paul (2015) Deconstructing Contemporary Chinese Art: Selected Critical Writings 2007-2014
Gladston, Paul (2015) Yu Youhan: the (Dis-)placed Literatus in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary China
Gladston, Paul (2014), Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History, London/Chicago: Reaktion/University of Chicago Press
Gladston, Paul (2013), Avant-Garde Art Groups in China, 1979-1989, Bristol/Chicago: Intellect/University of Chicago Press
Robinson, Luke (2013), Independent Chinese Documentary, London: Palgrave-Macmillan
Hernandez, Lili (2012), China and the West: Encounters with the Other in Culture, Arts, Politics and Everyday Life, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars
Special Editions of Academic Journals
- Gladston, Paul, ed. (2016) ‘Contemporary Visual Culture and Cultural Translation’, a special edition of Modern China Studies
- Gladston, Paul and Hill, Katie eds. (2012), ‘Contemporary Chinese Art and Criticality’, a special edition of the Journal of Visual Art Practice, Bristol and London: Intellect/Routledge
Book Chapters and Journal articles:
Gallagher, Mark, “Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Film Sound: Dolby Laboratories and Changing Industrial Practices” (co authored with Julian Stringer). Journal of Chinese Cinemas 7.3 (November 2013): 263-276. White, A. and Xu, S. (2012) A critique of China’s cultural policy and the development of its cultural and creative industries: the case of Shanghai, Cultural Trends, 21 (3), pp. 249-257.
Members of the Centre have also published chapters and articles in non-peer reviewed contexts, including:
White, A. (2012) Key to unlock China’s creativity, China Daily, 13 March.
The centre welcomes offers of funding to support its activities from interested individuals and institutions.
Since 2012 the centre has received the following funding awards and gifts:
- British Council, Shanghai £1,000 to support the Collaborative Research Project: ‘Contemporary Art and Sociality in Reform-era China’, 2013-15; also involving Tate Modern, The Guggenheim Museum NYC, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, Hong Kong City University, Courtauld Institute, New York University in Shanghai, UNNC
- Centre for Advanced Studies £5,000 to support the Collaborative Research Project: ‘Contemporary Art and Sociality in Reform-era China’, 2013-15
- Inter-Campus Mobility Fund £8,000 to support CEACS and CFM involvement in UoN China Mission and the research workshop ‘Public Display and Contested Presents in the PRC’, UNNC May 2013 (co-organised by Roberta Pearson (UoN) and Fintan Cullen (Dean of Arts and Humanities UNNC))
- British Council, Beijing – Successful application to take part in the ‘Sino-UK Higher Education Symposium on Creative Media Industry, 2012’ ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai £2,000 to support colour image reproduction costs.
- ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai £20,000 to support publication of monograph on the artist Yu Youhan by Thames and Hudson · DSL Collection pledge of €10,000 to support the work of the Centre.
Adding Complexity to the Curatorial Presentation of Contemporary Chinese Art
Impact case study (REF3b)
Unit of Assessment:
36 Communication, Cultural & Media Studies, Library & Information Management
Title of case study:
Adding Complexity to the Curatorial Presentation of Contemporary Chinese Art
Summary of the impact: Dr Paul Gladston’s (Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Visual Culture, Nottingham, 2005-present) research has served to problematize and add complexity to the public understanding of the relationship between contemporary Chinese art and the wider conditions of its making and showing both within and outside the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC). The Chief Curator of the Hayward Gallery exhibition New Directions from China (2012) drew on Gladston’s expertise in the exhibition’s presentation. The exhibition attracted over 22,000 visitors, with international media coverage leading to wider critical engagement in broadcast and social media. A challenging review of the exhibition in The Guardian by the high profile artist Ai Weiwei, followed by Gladston’s response, stimulated broader public debate around contemporary Chinese art. Gladston’s advisory role with the Hayward has lead to further invitations to critically inform the work of other public museums and galleries, including a major exhibition of contemporary Chinese art at Michigan State University curated by Wang Chunchen, organizer of the China Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
For media reviews of the Art of Change, see ‘In the Press’