My work placement took place at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) with the curator. My job mainly concerned the planning of exhibitions, including early background research of artists, translation for the published files and videos, and evaluation work for exhibitions etc. Except for planning exhibitions, I also helped them to develop audiences, especially Chinese audiences in the UK.
My first job was to do background research for approximately 31 Chinese artists, who will be attending for the Asia Triennial Manchester later this year. I’m personally interested in Chinese contemporary art, so I was really excited about this. Such background research work includes artists’ personal academic backgrounds, artworks, and their specific artistic concept and languages. This was substantial research work, which took me more than three weeks to finish. The artists are from three main areas: Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I classified all of the artists’ information into three different categories, which were based on the three different areas. I carefully compared the differences between their cultures; even though they are all titled “Chinese Art”. Researching the background of future partners will be the most necessary foundation work for building a good cooperative relationship in the future.
I then began translating the videos that were to be used in the next exhibition “The Voice Currency”, curated by the curator of the CFCCA, Ying Tan. She offered me many opportunities to attend curatorial meetings and workshops, which were a great chance for me to learn the process of curating an exhibition from the curator and artists’ discussions and communications. When the exhibition was nearly closed, I did conducted an evaluation, which included a general review for the whole process of curating the exhibition and relevant activities, and collecting and organising all the visitors’ comments from the comments panel and social medias. The curator gave me a few past examples of evaluations. I followed and analysed these previous works to create a new evaluation of the current exhibition. Most of the work that I did as an assistant of the curator was paper based; there were not many opportunities for me to have a direct practical curatorial experience in the CFCCA. There were, however, plenty of practical and creative ways of helping the CFCCA to develop Chinese audiences.
Firstly, I helped them to build a new partnership with the Chinese Student and Scholar Association-Manchester (CSSA-MAN) in the University of Manchester, which will hopefully be an effective way to develop Chinese audiences in the university. The CFCCA needs to build more long-term partnerships with other Chinese culture organisations in the UK, and then to extend their marketing strategy. Secondly, I developed the three most popular Chinese social media accounts for them (Weibo, Wechat, and Meipai). Social media is not only a medium for attracting audiences, but is also an effective platform for the CFCCA to develop their collaborative relationships with Chinese contemporary art organisations in China.
Working in the CFCCA was a great experience for working with lots of different artists and curators. I combined my personal strengths with the work experience in the CFCCA to help them to develop their presence in Chinese social medias.