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Unit of study_

ARHT6937: Curating Asian Art

This unit investigates the development of Asian art exhibitions and the role of the curator of Asian art. Course material will be based on the broad range of activities of local curators, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Asian Australian Arts Centre. Issues examined include museum policy, research resources, staffing structures, publicity and educational activities. Comparative case studies will be made of pre-modern, modern and contemporary Asian art exhibitions.


Academic unit Art History
Unit code ARHT6937
Unit name Curating Asian Art
Session, year
Semester 2, 2022
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Yvonne Low,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Seminar Presentation
Presentation on selected topic.
20% Multiple weeks Equivalent to 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Attendance and participation
Students are required to attend and participate actively in all sessions.
10% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2 LO1
Assignment Exhibition Analysis Exercise
20% Week 08
Due date: 26 Sep 2022 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Final research paper
Research paper
50% Week 13
Due date: 06 Nov 2022 at 23:59
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
  • Workshop and seminar participation: students are required to attend and participate actively in all sessions. Workshop and seminars will include group discussions and students collaborating in exercises targeted at curatorial practice and thinking skills. Students may miss no more than two seminar meetings without penalty.
  • Dangrove research and exhibition pitch: this is a group assignment that will give students the opportunity to research and design a curatorial project using the resources available at the dangrove art storage for the white rabbit gallery. More information will be provided on canvas.
  • Curatorial portfolio: students are asked to develop field notes based on their responses to a site visit or workshop. This exercise is ongoing throughout the semester where students are required to attend particular exhibitions prior to the seminar, and to bring their field notes along for discussion.
  • Final research project: the project may take one of three forms; exhibition catalogue essay, exhibition or collection history, other.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 "From Expositions to Biennales: A century of showing Asian Art"; Lecture and Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 Cultural politics and Asian artists in Australian Exhibitions; Lecture and Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Re-alignments: Asia in Triennials and Asian Triennials; Lecture and discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Museums and Public Collections: Role of the Curator; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Women re-modelling contemporary art worlds: Exhibitions and Projects; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Galleries and Private collections: Framing (her)stories Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Private and Public Collections: Framing ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness'; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Re-imagining Asia: Guggenheim and Japan’s Gutai; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 The Digital turn: Interventions and Innovations in Feminist art history; Workshop and discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Digital Methods in Museums: Site and Object; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 University Museums: Collecting and Curating; Guest lecture and discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Issues of Contemporaneity: Dislocation, Disillusionment and going “International”; Lecture and Presentation/Discussion Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 A Coda: Collecting and Showing 'Contemporary Asian Art'; Lecture and discussion/reflection Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Week 1: 2 August 2022

An Introduction

“From Expositions to Biennales: A century of showing Asian Art”

Welcome to Curating Asian Art. For this inaugural seminar, we will explore briefly the historical developments in the exhibition of Asian Art in the international arena, beginning with World Exhibitions. We will identify the contexts in which the display, collection and viewing of Asian art were made where we will also explore the issues and politics that centre around this cultural phenomenon. We will also examine the significance of Asian participation in the contemporary art world, tracing the rise of Asia’s involvement in the Biennale.

Prescribed Reading:

. Tan, Chang, “Telling global stories, one at a time: the politics and poetics of exhibiting Asian art”, World Art, vol. 5, no. 2 (2015): 307–330.

. McCormick, Seth, “Exhibition as Proposition: Responding critically to the third mind [with Response]”, Art Journal, vol. 68, no. 3, (2009): 30-51.

Additional Readings:

. Green, Charles and Gardner, Anthony. “Biennials of the South on the Edges of the Global,” Third Text 27, no. 4 (2013): 442-455.

. Clark, John. “Asian artists as long-distance cultural specialists in the formation of modernities” in Asia through Art and Anthropology: Cultural Translation across Borders, Fuyubi Nakamura, Morgan Perkins and Olivier Krischer, eds. (London: Bloomsbury, 2003) 19-32.

. Viau-Courville, Mathieu. “Museums without (Scholar-)Curators: Exhibition-making in times of managerial curatorship”, Museum International, vol. 68, no. 3/4 (2016): 11-32.

. Poshyananda, Apinan, et. al. Contemporary art in Asia: traditions, tensions (New York : Asia Society Galleries, 1996).

. Oren, Michel. “Contemporary art in Asia: Traditions/tensions,” Third Text 11, no. 41 (Jun 2008): 103-106.


Week 2: 9 August 2022

Cultural politics and Asian artists in Australian Exhibitions 

For this seminar we will examine the recent history of exhibiting Asian art in Australia against the politicisation of Asian identities and the making of Asian-Australian identities. This is part of a larger exploration of related issues centring around exhibition making and its politics in the context of Australia. Here, we will begin with Gallery 4A, the first institution in Australia focusing on the exhibiting of contemporary Asian art. 

Discussion: How does 4A seek to work and what kind of curators do they seek to be and foster? What are the complexities and politics of working in the “Asia”/ “Asian-Australian” contexts? How do small spaces operate and collaborate? 

Prescribed Reading: 

. Antoinette, Michelle, ‘A Space for ‘Asian-Australian’ art: Gallery 4A at the Asia-Australia Arts Centre’ in Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 32, Issue 4, 531-524.

. Gralton, Beatrice et. al. “Curating Chinese Contemporary Art in an Australian context”, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, vol. 16, no. 2 (2016): 247-271. 

Additional Readings:

Zhang, Tian. ‘Between Asia and Australia: Curating Asian-Australian Identities at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’,4A Papers, issue 6, May 2019

. Jacqueline Lo, ‘Diaspora, Art and Empathy’, in The Bridge and the Fruit Tree: John Young - A survey, ed. Carolyn Barnes and Jacqueline Lo (Canberra: Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery, 2016), 19-43.


Week 3: 16 August 2022

Re-alignments: Asia in Triennials and Asian Triennials

This seminar explores the role Triennials have played in shaping the production and reception of contemporary Asian art. The lecture will examine regional developments, such as the roles Australia and Japan have variously played in spearheading and driving certain initiatives in the Asia-Pacific/Asia region (namely, the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial and the Asia-Pacific-Triennial).

Discussion: What are some of the political, economic and cultural implications and issues raised in the readings? Discuss how the exhibition of contemporary Asian in such transnational spaces have shaped its production and reception, internationally and/or locally.

Prescribed Readings:

. Turner, Caroline. “Introduction: Internationalism and Regionalism: Paradoxes of Identity”, in Turner, Caroline, ed. Tradition and Change: Contemporary Art of Asia and the Pacific (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 1993), xii-xviii.

. Maravillas, Francis. “Cartographies of the Future: The Asia-Pacific Triennials and the Curatorial Imaginary,” in Clark, John, Peleggi, Maurizio, and Sabapathy, T.K., eds., Eye of the Beholder: Reception, Audience and Practice of Modern Asian Art, (Wild Peony, Sydney: 2006), 244-270.

Additional Readings:

. Clark, John. “Contemporary Asian Art at Biennales and Triennales: The 2005 Venice Biennale and Fukuoka Asian Triennale. the Sigg Collection, and the Yokohama and Guangzhou Triennales”, (New York, N.Y.), 2006. Online

. Kazuko, Nakane. “The second Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2002: Fukuoka Asian Art Museum”, Sculpture (Archive: 1987-2005), Vol 22, no 1 (2003): 84.

. Turner, Caroline. “Art Speaking for Humanity: The Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art,” Art Journal 59, no. 1 (2014): 16-19.


Week 4: 23 August 2022

Museums and Public Collections: Role of the Curator 

For this seminar, students will be provided with a number of case studies that examine the relationship between and across the role(s) of the curator and the State in mediating the processes of collection and display of contemporary art against the rise of globalisation and internationalism.

Discussion: Taking as its cue from Linda Nochlin, Patrick Flores asked why have there been no great curators outside of Europe and America? In the essay, he offers a curatorial history following the lives and works of two pioneering Southeast Asian curators, Jim Supangkat and Apinan Poshyananda, who have since become ‘lightning rods’ in the field of curation. What does this study reveal about the significance of curators in the production and reception of contemporary Asian art?  

Prescribed Reading: 

. Flores, Patrick D. “Place of Curation,” in Flores, Patrick D., Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (Singapore: NUS Museum, 2008), 4-33.

. Lee, Weng Choy. “Anecdote and theme: reflections on curating contemporary art from Southeast Asia”, Art Monthly Australia no. 279 (May 2015): 32-41. 

Additional Readings:

. Wang, Peggy. “Art critics as middlemen: Navigating State and Market in Contemporary Chinese Art, 1980s-1990s,” Art Journal 72, no. 1 (2014): 6-19.

. Antoinette, Michelle. “Exhibiting Southeast Asian Difference: Global and Regional currents”, Cross/Cultures, vol. 178, no. 1 (2014): 157-236.


Week 5: 30 August 2022

Women re-modelling contemporary art worlds: Exhibitions and Projects

This weeks topic discusses the histories of womens exhibitions in Asia within the broader context of feminist art history. Interest in the histories of women artists, particularly in Asia, is observed to be a relatively recent phenomenon. How did the topic Women artists” gain salience over the years? What does the general absence of women artists in history imply about womens participation in the modern and contemporary art discourses?

Discussion: In what ways have women-centred spaces and exhibitions presented new problems to female art practitioners? How do women’s work challenge political and personal gendered spaces? With reference to both readings, discuss how contemporary conditions facilitated the discourse of feminism and supported/hindered the production and reception of women’s art and practice.

Prescribed Reading: 

. Kee, Joan. “What is Feminist about Contemporary Asian Women’s Art?, in Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art (exh. cat.), Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin, eds. (London and New York: Merrell Publishers and Brooklyn Museum, 2007) 107-121.

. Nair, Varsha. “Womanifesto: A biennial art exchange in Thailand”, Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia 3 (1): March 2019, 147-171.

. Wang, Peggy. "Tensile Strength: Threads of resistance in Lin Tianmiao's art" Positions, vol 28 (no. 1): 121-144.

Additional Readings:

. Reilly, Maura. “Introduction: Toward Transnational Feminisms”, in Global Feminisms: New Directions in Contemporary Art (exh. cat.), Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin, eds.  (London and New York: Merrell Publishers and Brooklyn Museum, 2007) 15-46. 

. Bianpoen, Carla, Wardani, Farah and Dirgantoro, Wulan. Indonesian women artists: The curtain opens (Jakarta: Yayasan Senirupa Indonesia, 2007) [Introduction].

. Low, Yvonne. “Women re-modelling art worlds: Exhibitions and Projects on Southeast Asian Women Artists (1990-2015),”The Journal of the Asian Arts Society of Australia 24, no. 4 (Dec 2015): 4-6.


Week 6: 6 September 2022 

Galleries and Private collections: Framing (her)stories

For this seminar, we will be visiting the exhibition at 16albermarle Gallery, Our Grandfather Road: Art by women from Southeast Asia. Students will have the opportunity to engage closely and critically with a range of artworks selected for the show. 

Details of the show:

My Grandfather Road is the first exhibition of a Sydney private collection of southeast Asian contemporary art with a focus on younger women artists. Started in 2014, the collection was built through regular travel to the region to visit galleries, collectives, artspaces, museums and biennales, and meet artists, gallerists, curators and collectors. It includes works from Indonesia, Thailand, the Phillipines, Myanmar and Singapore.

The collection arose from a belief that women working as artists in the region encountered serious obstacles to building professional careers and being taken seriously as artists. The obstacles could be religious, cultural, social or economic. The focus on women artists is thus a corrective to local collecting norms and an opportunity to present significant works by some of the region’s most significant, but in some cases lesser known artists.

The collection is a snapshot of the themes women artists have often engaged with in their work across the region. They include –

•           The body, the self and identity, family

•           Feminism and the position of women in societies

•           Ideas of public and private space

•           Urbanisation and social dislocation

•           The environment

•           Public empowerment and activism. 


Dirgantoro, Wulan. “Introduction” in Feminisms and Contemporary art in Indonesia: Defining Experiences (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2017) 15-36.

Huangfu, Binghui, ed. Text and Subtext: Contemporary art and Asian Women (Singapore: Earl Lu Gallery, 2000) [introduction].


Week 7: 13 September 2022

Private and Public Collections: Framing ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’

This seminar continues off from the previous to explore the history and significance of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art. Students will be given the opportunity to examine two case-studies, a current White Rabbit Gallery exhibition and The China Project (2009) by Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, that have shaped the narratives on contemporary Chinese art. 

Discussion: What narratives are told from the collection and from the curation of the collection? To what extent does the collection frame the curation of the exhibition (and vice versa)? What does the collecting of contemporary Asian art, in this case Chinese art, in public galleries reveal about international relations and cultural policies? On a similar note, how is the private collecting of contemporary Chinese art also reflective of global and state politics?

Prescribed Reading: 

. O’ Riordan, Maurice. “Spirited Moment Endures: The White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney” [online]. Art Monthly Australia, no. 223, (Sept 2009): 12-13.

. Bell, David. “White Rabbit, contemporary Chinese arts and soft power in Sydney’s Chippendale” in China in Australasia: Cultural diplomacy and Chinese arts since the Cold War, eds. James Beattie et al. (London: Routledge, 2019) 133-150. 

. [Excerpts] The China Project, catalogue, (Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 2009). 

Additional Readings:

. Smith, Terry, ed., Contemporary Art + Philanthropy: Pubic Spaces/Private Funding, Foundations for Contemporary Art, Sydney, UNSW Press in association with the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2009.

. Humphries, Oscar. “Made in China: Judith Neilson and her husband Kerr founded the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, which displays Chinese art produced after the year 2000. She spoke to Apollo about why she wanted to share her collection.” Apollo, Nov. 2011, p. 30.

. Keenan, Elizabeth, The big bang : contemporary Chinese art from the White Rabbit Collection (Sydney: White Rabbit Gallery, 2010).  


Week 8: 20 September 2023

Re-imagining Asia: Guggenheim and Japan’s Gutai 

This seminar will examine Guggenheim’s retrospective show on the Gutai that aimed to re-evaluate its role and contribution to the narrative of modernism in Japan and internationally. As it seeks to re-evaluate the experimentations of Gutai painters and their outdoor exhibitions, we will also consider the growing scholarship that has strove to show how the Gutai predated in its originality the changes in western art developments with the creation of genres such as installations, performance and land art.

Prescribed Reading: 

. Munroe, Alexandra. To Challenge the Mid-Summer Sun: The Gutai Group,” Japanese art after 1945: scream against the sky (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1994), 19-25

. Tiampo, Ming. Gutai: decentering modernism (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011) [select chapters].


MID SEMESTER BREAK 26 Sep - 30 Sep 2022 


Week 9: 4 October 2022

The Digital turn: Interventions and Innovations in Feminist art history

This is a workshop that will give students the opportunity to use digital tools and methods to ask new research questions. Using a specific set of digitized archival materials, students may play with existing datasets on an integrated online application with the aim to identify patterns and/or gaps in research, and in the process learn to develop and design research questions about women’s networks, collection records, exhibition histories, and market trends, among others.

Prescribed reading:

. Rezaei, Yasamin. “Data Stories for/from All: Why Data Feminism is for Everyone” Digital Humanities Quarterly 16, no. 2 (2022): unpaged. 


Week 10: 11 October 2022

Digital Methods in Museums: Site and Object 

Description: This seminar will explore the use of digital methods to foster research breakthroughs in scholarship and museum exhibitions. Drawing closely to the Xiangtangshan Caves Project and the Dunhuang Project, we will examine how 3D modelling for instance has variously opened up research into deeper insights to the history of Buddhist art in China, as well as consider the significance of the site and the object. 

Discussion: What is the significance of the ‘site’ in enabling the interpretation of the object? With close reference to specific projects, how has the use of digital methods to reconstruct the the site, serve to enable the reading and interpretation of the object in context and why is the goal of placing the object in the site crucial for our understanding of pre-modern art/artifacts?

Prescribed Readings:

Tsiang Katharine, "Bodhisattvas, jewels & demons: reconstructing meaning in the North Cave at Xiangtangshan", Apollo 167, no. 554 (2008): 36-41.

. Whiteman, Stephen, "Beyond the Perspectival Paradigm: Early Modern Pictorial Space and Digital Challenges to the Field", The Art bulletin 103, no. 2 (2021): 8-23.

Additional Readings:

Tsiang, R. Katherine, and Powers, J. Martin, Introduction” in Looking at Asian Art, eds. Katherine Tsiang and Martin Powers (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2012) 9-17. 


Week 11: 18 October 2022

University Museums: Collecting and Curating  

Description: For this seminar we will be visiting the show, Sentient Paper, at the Chau Chak Wing Museum. Curator, Dr Shuxia Chen, will talk introduce key objects and curatorial aspects of the exhibition. You will also have the opportunity to engage deeply with the University’s collection. Following the curator’s talk is an object-based workshop where you will learn about ways of handling the object and exhibition issues.

Discussion: What might a university gallery have to offer to the public and to the students? As noted in the reading by Pamela Frank, educational initiatives developed at the gallery can enhance and deepen a student’s engagement levels whilst at the same time generate meaningful research and scholarship around its collection. How can curatorial design (of objects) take into consideration the pedagogical needs of the students?

Prescribed Reading: 

. [Excerpt] Wen Fong, Images of the mind: Selections from the Edward L. Elliott family and John B. Elliott collections of Chinese calligraphy and painting at the Art Museum, Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.: Art Museum, Princeton University in association with Princeton University Press, c1984).

. Clark, John. “Building a collection: Chinese prints at the University of Sydney”, Floating Time, Chinese Prints, 1954-2002, (Sydney: Power Publications, 2016) 25-36.

Additional Readings:

. Ainger, Susanne. Guide to museums, galleries and collections at the University of Sydney (Sydney: University of Sydney, University News Service, 1989).

. Frank, Pamela. “A Twenty-First-Century Teaching Museum: The Expanded Yale University Art Gallery”, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin, Teaching with Art, (2013): 22-37. 


Week 12: 25 October 2022

Issues of Contemporaneity: Dislocation, Disillusionment and going International

This seminar examines the challenges of making and exhibiting contemporary art in relation to issues of contemporaneity. It will look at the themes of dislocation and disillusionment when considering the obstacles encountered by contemporary artists struggling to enter the international art circuit (especially those residing in provincial towns and villages). 

Discussion: How are the works by local artists viewed as culturally ‘outside’ when they become part of the international art circuit? In what way is international interest in Asian art imbricated within a larger arena of corporate globalization? Discuss this in relation to economic, political and cultural domination; refer closely to key arguments raised by the authors in the readings. 

Prescribed Reading: 

. Hancox, Simone. Art, activism and the geopolitical imagination: Ai WeiweiSunflower Seeds,” Journal of Media Practice 12, no. 3 (2012): 279-290. 

. Gao, Minglu. Changing motivations of Chinese Contemporary art since the mid 1990s,” Journal of Visual Art Practice 11, no. 2-3 (2012): 209-219.

Additional Readings:

. Maravillas, Francis. Constellations of the contemporary: Art/Asia/Australia,” Journal of Australian Studies 32, no. 4 (2008): 433-444. 

. Sambrani, Chaitanya. Here, Out There (and Somewhere in Between): Contemporary Art in India,” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art 3, no. 2 (2015): 55-76. 

. Supangkat, Jim. Multiculturalism/Multimodernism,” in Apinan Poshyananda, et. al., Traditions/Tensions: Contemporary Art in Asia (New York: Asia Society Galleries, 1996), 70-81.


Week 13: 1 November 2022

Coda: Collecting and Showing “Contemporary Asian Art”

This concluding seminar takes stock of all the issues discussed as they are related to the circulation, exhibition and collection of modern and contemporary Asian art both inside and outside of Asia. Museums and galleries in the West struggle to re-consider their acquisition policies and re-think existing collection models in a bid to close the gap in their knowledge of Asian of the past century and to catch up on its present and future developments. One of the problems they faced was the lack of expertise in the field of modern and contemporary Asian art. On the other hand, institutions within Asia have themselves begun building its own collection and developing art historical knowledges. 

Prescribed Readings:

. Chua, Kevin. “ Exhibiting Modern Asian Art in Southeast Art,” in Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 13, no. 2 (March/April 2014): 105-116.

. Desai, Vishakha N. Beyond the Authentic-Exotic: Collecting Contemporary Asian Art in the Twenty-First Century,” in Bruce Altshuler, ed., Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), 103-114.

Background Readings:

. Bennett, Tony. Exhibition, Difference and the Logic of Culture,” in Karp, Ivan et. al., eds., Museum Frictions: Public Cultures/Global Transformations (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 46-69.

. Schoppert, Peter. “Asia in the 50th Venice Biennale of Art 2003”, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 6, no. 1 (Aug 2006): 136-140.

. Clark, John. “Beyond the National, inside the Global” in Anderson, Jaynie, ed., Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration and Convergence [The Proceedings of the 32nd International Congress in the History of Art] (Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 2009), 58-59.


Please also refer to Canvas for a selected additional bibliography.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a better understanding of major developments in modern and contemporary Asian art, both in and beyond Australia
  • LO2. demonstrate an appreciation for historical approaches to the curation of Asian art and greater awareness of curatorial strategies surrounding Asian art in relation to contemporary international art
  • LO3. analyse narratives of Asian art within the field of art history and the exhibitionary context
  • LO4. critically evaluate the impact of the institutionalisation of Asian art both inside and outside of Asia
  • LO5. effectively articulate a sophisticated interpretation of this cultural production both verbally and in writing.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Changes have been made in accordance to HyFlex teaching requirements. On-site visits to museums and galleries has been incorporated.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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