Contemporary Art in and from China
Field of Research (FoR)
NB Paul Gladston's publications record here is substantially incomplete. It will be updated in due course.
Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales. He was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory and Director of the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and, before that, the inaugural Head of...view more
NB Paul Gladston's publications record here is substantially incomplete. It will be updated in due course.
Paul Gladston is the inaugural Judith Neilson Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of New South Wales. He was previously Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures and Critical Theory and Director of the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham and, before that, the inaugural Head of the School of International Communications and Director of the Institute of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. He was also a visiting professor at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing in 2009 and at the Sothebys' Institute London between 2016 and 2018. During his time at the University of Nottingham and the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, Paul received 'exceeds expectation' awards as a result of annual review on six occasions between 2007 and 2016.
, he has impacted significantly on the development of a critically informed contemporary Chinese art studies, both internationally and inside China.
di'van - a Journal of Accounts.
Paul was 'Author of the Month' (January 2013) at the Zentrum für Kunst and Medientechnologie Karlsruhe website: ’(Re-)Constructing Contemporary Chinese Art: Towards a Polylogue between International and Chinese Theoretical Paradigms’. Other authors of the month include the internationally renowned scholars, Prof John Clark (Sydney), Prof James Elkins (Chicago) and Prof Terry Smith (Chicago). The invitation to contribute came as the result of Paul's work as academic adviser to the exhibition 'Art of Change: New Directions from China'. http://globalartmuseum.de/site/guest_author/329
- 'Inside and Outside the Yellow Box: Rethinking Displays of Asian Art ', Asia Institute and School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania, 27 May 2019 - with Lynne Howarth-Gladston. Made possible by funding provided by the Asia Institute UTAS. http://www.utas.edu.au/asia-institute/events/events/2019/public-lecture-
- "A Closer Look at Contemporary Chinese Art', School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania, 24 May 2019 - with Lynne Howarth-Gladston. https://www.events.utas.edu.au/2019/may/arts-forum-lynne-howarth-gladston-and-paul-gladston
- 'Inside and Outside the Yellow Box: Rethinking Displays of Asian Art and Artefacts', Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery The University of Western Australia, 11 April 2019 - with Lynne Howarth-Gladston. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/special-event-inside-outside-the-yellow-box-registration-55316735846
Paul's recent contributions to the media include commentary in the following articles:
- ‘Beijing Zone a Beacon of Chinese Art’, China Daily Global Edition, 8 May 2019
- ‘AI Robot Shows Creative Side with Chinese Ink Art’, China Daily Global Edition, 26 April 2019 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/global/2019-04/26/content_37462670.htm
Contemporary Chinese Art, Aesthetic Modernity and Zhang Peili: Towards a Critical Contemporaneity - Bloomsbury Academic (literature and Philosophy) ‘Aesthetics and Contemporary Art’ series, David Carrier and Tiziana Adina eds. (London: Bloomsbury, 2019) ISBN-10:
“From the painstaking walk-through of theoretical issues and historical/cultural context appearing in his Prolegomenon, through the concise yet bracing conclusion, Paul Gladston's study of Zhang Peili and contemporaneity is far more than a mere biographical sketch of a single artist; it is a treatise on visual art of the present and China's particularized presence in that sphere. It is a landmark work both in terms of cultural-criticism and art-historical analysis.” –
“While emphasizing that our understanding of what is specific to China may be analysed with notions originating as much from China as from the West, the main strength of Professor Gladston's book, particularly obvious in its ambitious prolegomenon, is to elucidate the idea of contemporaneity in the present debate about Chinese art.” –
“[Paul] Gladston, first with his Contemporary Chinese Art: a Critical History and now with this volume of selected writings, has distinguished himself as the most brilliant Western scholar working in this field. What makes Gladston's work so indispensable is not only his prose — it is both elegant and precise — but also that he so effectively subjects Chinese work to the same criticality that anyone reasonably would expect for any first-rate writing on art from any country.” - Drew Hammond, award-winning art critic and Exhibitions Director ACE Gallery, Los Angeles
Contemporary Chinese Art
- 2019 - 'Inside and Outside the Yellow Box: Rethinking Displays of Asian Art', Asia Institute and School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania, 27 May 2019 - with Lynne Howarth-Gladston. Made possible by UTAS Asia Institute Award, $2,000. http://www.utas.edu.au/asia-institute/events/events/2019/public-lecture-
- 2017 – Sichuan China Fine Arts Institute Award, 2018 (£30,000) to support international conference, ‘Seeing the Unseen: Trans-cultural Perspectives on Contemporary Art in/from Asia’ Sichuan China Fine Arts Institute, People’s Republic of China. Conference Organisers: Professor Paul Gladston, University of Nottingham and Professor Lü Peng, Sichuan China Fine Arts Institute.
- 2015 - Co-I successful bid to Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation (US$25,000) to support staging of the international symposium ‘Wordimage: visual-verbal interstices in contemporary Chinese Art’, Seattle, October 2016.
- 2014 – Funding from ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai (£25,000) to support the publication of Paul Gladston, Yu Youhan (Shanghai: 3030 Press and ShanghArt Gallery, 2015); 300 full-colour illustrations.
- May 2014 - Named investigator AHRC Network Project, ‘Culture, Capital and Communication: Visualising Chinese Borders in the twenty first century’. Principal Investigator Dr Rebecca Kennedy, Manchester Metropolitan University, School of History of Art and Design, Co-Investigator Dr Ming Turner, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (AHRC contribution £26,500). Paul Gladston is cited on the successful bid as a ‘key international academic in the areas of contemporary Chinese art and border Studies’.
- May 2014 - ‘Contemporary Art, Curating and Social Engagement in Twenty-first Century China’– PI on research project involving Guggenheim NYC, Tate, City University HK, CAFA Hangzhou, Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) Symposium and bid preparation workshop November 2014 (first meeting November 2013). Supported by CAS award (£4,700), CEACS (£500) and RAM (£20,000).
- November 2013 - British Council award (£1,000) to support Research Workshop: ‘The Social Function of Contemporary Art in the PRC’, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai.
- 2012 – Successful application to British Council, Shanghai to fund attendance at the first ‘Sino-UK Higher Education Symposium on Creative Media Industry, 2012’– Guangzhou and Nanjing, 2012; flights and accommodation. Also supported by successful application to University of Nottingham Inter-campus Mobility Fund (£8,000).
- 2013 - Paul Gladston, ‘Avant-garde Art Groups in China, 1979-1989 (Bristol: Intellect and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013); 30 full-colour reproductions. Colour reproduction costs supported by ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai (£2,000).
- October 2009 – The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China Conference Travel Grant: Invited Speaker, Modernity’s Cultural Politics: China in Context at the Courtauld Institute of Art: ‘Curatorial Discourse and the Limits of Speech: Critical Reflections on the Third Guangzhou Triennial, Farewell to Post-Colonialism’.
- July 2009 – The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China ‘Light Semester’ Scheme. Completion of the manuscript for Paul Gladston, ‘Avant-garde Art Groups in China, 1979-1989 (Bristol: Intellect and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)
- June 2009 – The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China Conference Travel Grant; Panel Member, Inter-Asia cultural Typhoon at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies ‘Translating Regions: Aesthetic Movements, Labour Regimes, Cultural Geographies’.
- September 2008 – The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China Inter-Campus Research Award, in support of the conference ‘Digital Hollywood-Digital China’ held jointly by The Institute of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China and The Institute for Film and Television Studies at the University of Nottingham in March 2009, (£11,000).
- June 2007 - The University of Nottingham, New Researchers Award, ‘Chinese Avant-Garde Art Groups and Associations of the late 1970s and 1980s’ (£7,500).
- April 2006 - The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China Small Research Grant, ‘A Case Study of Chi She or the ’85 New Space Group of Chinese Artists’.
- December 2006 – The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China Conference Travel Grant; The Association of Art Historians Annual Conference April 2007: “Representing the ‘Monster City’: The Unbearable Blandness of Song Tao and B6’s Yard”.
- 2004 - PhD Critical Theory, University of Nottingham: Art History after Deconstruction: Is There Any Future for a Deconstructive Attention to Art History?
- 1997 - MA Critical Theory, University of Nottingham
- 1992 - Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, Nottingham-Trent University
- 1986 - BA (hons.) Drawing and Painting, 1st Class, Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art
- 2018 - Nominated for University of Nottingham Staff Oscar, ‘Teaching: makes best use of technology to enhance learning’ category.
- 2017 - winner ‘International Strategy of the Year’ category Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMA). UoN was nominated for the THELMA on the strength of its Creative Hub, which brings together science, technology and the arts to respond to changes in government policy in China and the UK, including its museums CPD in China. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2017/june/the-university-of-nottingham-wins-at-the-thelmas.aspx 2014-16 - Paul Gladston, Joint Academic Chair, University of Nottingham China Cultural Visiting Hub (CCVH) development group. Successful development of curatorial training programme for museums and galleries in China in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
- 2017 - UNNC/UNUK International Creative Economy Leadership Academy (ICELA) screen industry and museum masterclasses shortlisted for the Guardian University Awards under the ‘Best International Project’ category. https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/mar/07/the-judges-decision-finalists-for-the-guardian-university-awards-2017
- 2016 - Nominated for University of Nottingham Knowledge Exchange Award.
- 2015 – Winner ‘Publication of the Year’, 9th Art Awards China 2015 for monograph Contemporary Chinese Art: A Critical History (Reaktion, 2014)
- 2013 - Nominated for University of Nottingham Staff Oscar, ‘Teaching: most inspirational teacher’ category.
- 2012 – Freeman of Berwick-upon-Tweed
- 1986 – Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award for Drawing
- 1985 - Eileen Stoekel-Batell Scholar, Yale University USA
- 1985 – Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship, Edinburgh Colege of Art
My Research Activities
Paul is currently working on four research publication projects:
- A book co-written with Dr Lynne Howarth-Gladston, provisionally titled, Tradition Dis-/Continued: Contemporary Chinese Women’s Art and Confucian Aesthetics, on interventions by three contemporary Chinese women artists into the traces of the masculinist-elitist neo-Confucian aesthetic tradition.
- A monograph, provisionally titled, Three Prominences, that meditates critically on trans-/intra-cultural as well as trans-historical resonances between three works of art: Fan Kuan's Travellers Among Mountains and Streams (C12th), Masaccio's The Trinity , and Duchamp's, Fountain.
- A book co-written with Dr Lynne Howarth-Gladston, provisionally titled (Inside and) Outside the (Yellow) Box: Rethinking Displays of East Asian Art, related to Hong Kong gallerist Johnson Chang's intervention in the international curatorial paradigm of the White Cube, known as the Yellow Box.
- A monograph, provisionally titled, Contemporary Art is Rubbish!
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
- Critical Theory
- Contemporary Chinese Art
- Aesthetic Modernity, Postmodernity and Contemporaneity
- Decolonization of Museum and Gallery Spaces
- Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power
Previous successful PhD students include:
- 2019, Linda Pittwood: Representations of Women in Contemporary Chinese Art - funded by Midlands Three Cities Award (M3C) (AHRC)
- 2018, Renata Abou-Eid: Translating cultures, Adapting lives: The role of cultural interpretation in the acculturation of Polish migrants in the East Midlands
- 2016, Joachin Lopez:(Non-)Rational Chinese and Western Photographic Heterotopias in Shanghai
- 2015, Meng Jing, TV Representations of the Cultural Revolution in China
- 2014, Yao Yung-wen:Cultural Diplomacy and Contemporary Chinese Art
At time of leaving the University of Nottingham Paul was supervisor of four PhD theses
Paul has been an external PhD examiner at:
- 2020 - Chinese University of Hong Kong
- 2019 - University of Glasgow
- 2019 – Chinese University of Hong Kong
- 2018 – Australian National University
- 2017 – University of Glasgow
- 2016 – Chinese University of Hong Kong
- 2014 – University of Lancaster
- 2013 – University of Glasgow
- 2011 – University College London
and an external MFA examiner at:
- 2018 - The University of Western Australia
- Ms Luise Guest: (In)visible Ink: Gender and National Identity in the Work of Four Contemporary Chinese Artists. PhD candidate UNSW.
Lead author of the REF Impact Case 2013 (UK), ‘Adding Complexity to the Curatorial Presentation of Contemporary Chinese Art’.
‘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 Art of Change: 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.’
Paul is the lead author and co-convenor of the programme:
- Contemporary East Asian Art
He was the lead author of the BA International Communications and MA International Communications, and of the PhD programme in critical theory/cultural studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. In 2007 the BA International Communications achieved Special degree status in Zhejiang province – the first programme to do so at UNNC.