How can the CCAA be understood as a research tool?
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The development and work of the CCAA has woven a web of the growth of Chinese Contemporary Art, providing us an unparalleled tool for research and enlightenment. Without the CCAA, it is questionable whether we would have an resources to learn about Chinese Contemporary Art, let alone if contemporary art in China would exist as it does today.
One aspect of how the CCAA can be understood as a research tool is in relation to the very insular government in China, which, especially before the turn of the 20th Century, gave virtually no opportunity for anyone outside of China to access or have an insight into the internal working of the country. The government prioritised projecting an official image of Chinese culture and society that more often than not rejected the critiques and protests of Chinese contemporary art. The CCAA's work in supporting emerging Chinese contemporary artists, giving them opportunities to penetrate and exercise influence within Western culture and the Western art market, such as at the 1999 Venice Biennale, illustrates the importance of the CCAA in allowing us to access these previously censured artists.
Furthermore, the CCAA provides us with material to learn about the map of social relations that was established in the service of Chinese art. We can see the convoluted web of connections that have been established by the CCAA, linking artists, curators, museum directors and more who have all contributed to the emergence of Chinese Contemporary Art. It also gives us a wider understanding of how clever networking and the exchange of favours can work to establish a relatively insignificant area of art at the time into an internationally renowned section of art that commands some of the highest prices within the art market.