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Online course

Discovering Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China

Find out about inspiring projects created by Chinese artists to address important social issues, with this free online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Discovering Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China

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Why join the course?

China has experienced dramatic changes over the past four decades - while the country is becoming more affluent, it’s also facing complex social issues. A number of Chinese artists have responded to these issues through powerful art.

Discover extraordinary works created by Chinese artists

These artists have created site-specific performances in lakes, rivers, and mountains to raise environmental consciousness; they have written songs and plays for millions of migrant workers, to address the issue of inequality; they have organized parades and festivals for villagers, to make the processes of rural governance visible. These artists not only contribute to social change, they also push the boundaries of contemporary art. They challenge the conventional modes of artistic production and reception.

In this course we will look at a number of art projects that address important social issues. We will study how they integrate aesthetic concerns with social concerns.

Explore Chinese art projects in depth

China is massive. It means on this course, we won’t be able to discuss every socially engaged artwork created in China over the past few decades. Instead, we will dive deep into a number of projects that are substantial, and representative of this exciting field. The focus of this course is not only on why the artists initiated these projects, but also on how they developed their ideas, overcame challenges, and pushed artistic boundaries.

Get inspired by experts, artists and other learners

The lead educator for this course is Dr. Zheng Bo, an expert in Chinese socially engaged art. He leads the “Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China” research project at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. In addition to course videos, you will also watch artist interviews, study visual materials, and participate in discussions. Through these varied learning you will gain a deeper understanding of contemporary China and of contemporary art.

In fact we hope you will also be inspired to create your own socially engaged art, to address something that matters to you in your community.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsChina has experienced dramatic changes over the past four decades. While we become more affluent, we are also facing complex social issues. A number of Chinese artists have responded to these issues through art. They have created site-specific performances in lakes, rivers, and mountains to raise ecological consciousness. They have written songs and plays for millions of migrant workers, to address the issue of inequality. They organized parades and festivals for villagers, to make the processes of rural governance visible. These artists not only contribute to social change, they also push the boundaries of contemporary art. They challenge the conventional modes of artistic production and reception.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsCity University of Hong Kong is offering this online course on socially engaged art in contemporary China. We will look at inspiring artworks, conduct critical analysis, and discuss key theoretical questions. This course is highly visual. We have collected a large number of photographs and videos, conducted interviews with the artists, and even captured some of the sites using a 360-degree camera. This inter-disciplinary course will broaden your knowledge of contemporary art, and contemporary China. It will enable you to approach social issues with a more creative mind.

What topics will you cover?

  • Basic features of contemporary Chinese socially engaged art
  • Key social issues addressed by contemporary Chinese socially engaged art
  • Key aesthetic and social strategies developed by Chinese artists
  • Select theoretical issues in contemporary Chinese socially engaged art

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe socially engaged art in contemporary China
  • Discuss key theoretical issues of socially engaged art
  • Compare socially engaged artworks along both aesthetic and social dimensions
  • Apply the artistic strategies and techniques to other creative projects if desired

Who is the course for?

This course is intended for anyone with an interest in contemporary art and contemporary China. It doesn’t require any reading before you start or previous experience of studying the subject.

Who will you learn with?

Bo ZHENG

Dr. Zheng is a leading expert on Chinese socially engaged art. He teaches at School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. See his full profile: http://www.scm.cityu.edu.hk/profile/BOZHENG

Sarah HUANG

Sarah is a researcher on the “Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China” project at the City University of Hong Kong. She holds an MA from SOAS, University of London.

Who developed the course?

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has risen rapidly to become a leading institution for research and professional education in Asia’s World City where East meets West.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 (+ shipping) you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

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  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

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  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

Upgrade


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