Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

Coordinates: 53°29′5″N 2°14′15″W / 53.48472°N 2.23750°W / 53.48472; -2.23750

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (formerly Chinese Arts Centre)
Industry Arts
Founded 1986
Headquarters 13 Thomas Street, Manchester, England, M4 1EU
Services Media agencies
Revenue £330,000[1]
Number of employees
6 FTE[2]
Website Official website
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art on the left

The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is a UK agency for Chinese artbased in Manchester, England.


1986 to 1997

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art was established in 1986 by a group of British Chinese artists based in Manchester. The artists were frustrated that their work was not been seeing in mainstream venues, and was not included in the Black Arts Movement of the time. Based in Chinatown, the Centre was financially supported by Manchester City Council and Arts Council England. Comprising a gallery, education room and tea house, it provided a space to show the work of British Chinese artists and the local Chinese community.

1997 to present

The Hong Kong handover in 1997 was an important time in the development of Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. There was much focus on Chinese culture in the British media and many arts organisations programmed Chinese related events. This dramatic increase in mainstream recognition of all things Chinese encouraged the centre to change direction and, rather than just exhibiting work, proactively support the careers of artists of Chinese descent. In addition, 1997 marked the year that the organisation extended its remit to become a national charity and started to work internationally, rather than just with British Chinese artists.

In 1999 Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art produced Representing the People - its first major touring exhibition. Touring to four key national venues and seen by 250,000 people, Representing the People was the first independent exhibition to show artists from Mainland China in the UK.

In 2003 Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art opened their new purpose built centre following a £2.5 million Lottery grant to build a flagship centre for contemporary Chinese art. Designed by OMI Architects, the centre won a RIBA prize for architecture and features a gallery, tea house, shop, function room, offices, resource area and artist residency studio and living area. Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art set up a residency scheme called Breathe offering artists of Chinese descent up to three month live/work residencies at the centre. Former Breathe resident artists include Gordon Cheung who had a solo exhibition at the centre early 2008.

In 2006 and 2007, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art organised VITAL - two international Chinese live art festivals providing a platform for performance and discussion of this hybrid contemporary art form. In 2008 the centre received funding from the European Union to create a touring exhibition in 2010 with partner organisations in China and France to forge cultural links between Europe and China.

In 2010, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art organised a Liberation Exhibition - an exhibition growing out of an ongoing discussion with Carol Yinghua Lu and Liu Ding following the blocked use of a selection of social networking and self-publishing websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in China.[3] This exhibition takes the form of a visual art exhibition as well as a series of events, a debate, and a blog discussion among the curators of the exhibition and invited guests. Speakers at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art discussed a range of perspectives on the online media and the power of social networking sites. Guest speakers include exhibiting artist Brendan Fan, FaceRook artist Candy Chen Shuhui, Laurence Kaye from Pirate Party UK, Matthew Trump from the Northern Cybercrime Forensics Group, and Tom Kinniburgh, Associate Producer of the Application Company Chillingo Limited.[4] It proposes a close look into the openness and potential of the Internet world as well as its susceptibility to power and political manipulation and ideological controls. The event is sponsored kindly by City Inn Manchester, and supported by Arts Council England and AGMA, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.[5]

In October 2013 the Chinese Arts Centre underwent a complete re-brand and changed the trading name of the organisation to Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, or CFCCA for short.


  1. "The Charity Commission for England and Wales". Charity-commission.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  2. "2011 Financial Statements" (PDF). Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art ltd. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
  3. Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. "Liberation Exhibition". chinese-arts-centre.org. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  4. Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. "Liberation Talk". eventbrite.com. Retrieved 2010-09-08.
  5. Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art. "Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art". chinese-arts-centre.org. Retrieved 2010-09-08.

External links

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