CCAA | Chinese Contemporary Art Award

Chapters 4 › Unit 4: Create a journal entry: CCAA as a research tool View instructions Hide instructions

Create a journal entry: CCAA as a research tool


How can the CCAA be understood as a research tool?

Share your experiences and have a look at the journals of other participants.
Feel free to comment.

CCAA: Not only a tool for research, but also the object of research


Well, firstly I think it is important to point out what we mean with a "tool" for research. A tool implies that the CCAA can be used for broader research in the field, a way to understand how Chinese contemporary art is developing also outside the sphere of action of the CCAA. For this reason, I think that before being a tool of research, the CCAA (particularly as case study for this course) is an object of research.

As an object of research, the CCAA is analysed in its scopes and connections, through the actions of its creator and collaborators. This is paramount in understanding how promoters of Chinese contemporary art in general connected to the CCAA (either privately through personal acquaintance or publicly through participations in the events organized by the Award's board members). It would be likewise interesting to analyse how other promoters interacted with the CCAA for their own events, galleries and awards, to understand what they took as inspiration from the CCAA or what they changed in order to present Chinese contemporary art in a new light. Did the CCAA set a new trend that has been followed by many other? From what we saw, I think it indeed has. But only analysing the CCAA as an object of research, as we are rightfully doing it, is it possible to use it later as a tool to research Chinese contemporary art more broadly.

Entrance of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 798 Art District, Beijing.


Dear Giulia,

I certainly agree that the CCAA is a subject of research. This is what we did in collaboration with the Sigg Collection, the M+ museum, the CCAA administration and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Zurich two years ago. The material provided here is almost exclusively based on that research and it should be continued with the evolution of the arts scene itself.
However, for the collector Uli Sigg (and later for curators such as Harald Szeemann, Chris Dercon, Ruth Noack or Jia Fangzhou) the CCAA become a tool to research the art scene itself. Without the CCAA Sigg would never have been able to identify artists in China the way he did and help them getting connected to the international art scene.
Michael Schindhelm

over 2 years ago

For some reason, I was just thinking of it as a tool for an observer, while I did not take into consideration the possibility for the CCAA to be a tool of research for the creator and the members themselves! This opens up a wide range of new possibilities, such as taking advantage of personal interconnections to discover new artists who would otherwise be kept unknown, as well as new concepts, new styles and new aesthetics. This could really range wide in its purpose!

Thank you for widening my perspectives about this!

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