The University of Salford and CFCCA are working in partnership to build a collection of Chinese Contemporary Art, reflecting Greater Manchester’s aim to strengthen its links to China.

The partnership forges new territory in co-commissioning and acquiring exceptional artwork to build a collection of Chinese contemporary art at the University of Salford. The collection establishes a resource that is available for loan to museums and galleries across the UK, and toured nationally and internationally; plugging the gap in our nation’s collections of Chinese contemporary art and underlining the growing importance of contemporary Chinese culture.

The partnership was officially launched on 11 October 2013 with an exclusive preview of our first co-commission, a beautiful and intriguing new film Haze and Fog by internationally renowned artist Cao Fei, in University of Salford’s state of the art Digital Performance Lab at Mediacity UK. 

The University of Salford Art Collection contains over 600 items for the benefit of students, staff and the general public. This partnership is part of a wider new initiative to exhibit, curate and co-commission work across Greater Manchester and nationally to build the cultural profile of the University.

Most commentators agree that the speed of contemporary arts investment / change within China is unlike anything we have ever witnessed – the building of vast futuristic culture castles across China, the scale of growth in the commercial gallery sector and the growing numbers studying art and design – suggest that an ongoing cultural engagement between Greater Manchester and China during this present period of growth is essential.

Peter Mearns, Chair of the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art says. ‘This is China’s century culturally as well as economically. Our partnership with the University of Salford will establish a distinctive collection of Chinese contemporary art, which will be available for loan or tour at a time when the UK needs to better embrace a world with shifting cultural centres.’

China is a strategic priority for the University of Salford, Manchester. The University has an office in Beijing and strong ties with partners across China. The partnership is also aiming to strengthen relationships with designers and will establish a placement scheme for young UK designers in China.

This commission utilises the historical strengths of CFCCA (formerly Chinese Arts Centre) in its work with significant international Chinese artists. Looking ahead, the partnership with University of Salford will maximise our expertise by identifying the major artists of the future.