30 Years of CFCCA

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art celebrates its 30th anniversary 

February-June 2016
Featuring artists Xu Bing, Cao Fei, Lee Mingwei, Tsang Kin-Wah and susan pui san lok

In 2016, CFCCA will celebrate its 30 year anniversary in Manchester with a high profile exhibition programme spanning 6 months featuring some of the very best Chinese contemporary artists of today.

The anniversary programme will see CFCCA collaborate with 30 prestigious artists, curators and academics who have each previously contributed to the organisation at various stages of its 30 year history. This ambitious programme launched on 4 February 2016 to coincide with Chinese New Year; Year of the Monkey.

Throughout our history we have sustained a commitment to representing Chinese arts and culture in the UK. Today we are the UK’s leading organisation for the promotion of Chinese contemporary art, producing an internationally renowned artistic programme and developing a reputation as a centre for research.

Exhibition programme

During the six month programme CFCCA’s galleries will feature a rotating exhibition of high profile artists who have exhibited internationally, with work featured at festivals across the world including Documenta and Venice Biennale.

Xu Bing, 'Book From the Ground', 2013 onwards

30 Years of CFCCA | Xu Bing

Book from the Ground

5 February – 28 February, Preview – Thursday 4 February, 7-9pm
Part of the 30 years of CFCCA launch

Gallery 1
In 2003 we invited the internationally acclaimed artist Xu Bing to launch our Thomas Street venue. His exhibition was not only the first in our current building, but his first exhibition in the UK.

Xu Bing - 2006-2014_Book from the Ground_4 - WEB Xu Bing - 2006-2014_Book from the Ground, Xu Bing's studio

30 Years of CFCCA | RareKind China

Gallery 2 : 5 February – 3 April

RareKind China Northern Quarter Street Art Tour with Natalie Bradbury
 - Saturday 13 February 2016
Click here to book - See below for more information

RareKind Illustration Agency has teamed up with The Temporary to showcase the diverse visual identities of graffiti and street artists from China and the UK, who have been invited to create original work that responds to our 30-year history and the international context of street art.

Graffiti and street art is a global phenomenon still viewed as an underground ‘subculture’. This project goes beyond conventional understandings of graffiti and street art to collaborate with writers, academics, illustrators and graphic designers and will extend beyond the gallery walls into Manchester’s city centre to engage local communities through workshops, public interventions and a tour. This includes collaboration with Outhouse Mcr’s public graffiti spaces in the Northern Quarter from January to March.

To find out more please click here to download the RareKind China map


30 Years of CFCCA | Stanley Chow


5 February - 21 July, Preview – Thursday 4 February, 7-9pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA


CFCCA is proud to launch our new limited edition print shop with a series of exclusive works by celebrated Manchester artist Stanley Chow.

We originally worked with Stanley Chow in 2014 when we hosted The Takeawaya retrospective of his work influenced by memories of his childhood. The exhibition and accompanying sale of his artworks was extremely well attended and a highlight of CFCCA's programme.

My 1st home - Stanley Chow 2016

30 Years of CFCCA | Cao Fei

La Town

4 - 27 March, Preview – Thursday 3 March, 6-8pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA

Gallery 1

Cao Fei is a key figure in Chinese art with whom we first worked in 2013. Cao Fei’s work includes video and digital media that explores the culture and daily life of Chinese citizens born after the Cultural Revolution. Cao has captured the fast transformation of contemporary China spotlighting the mixture of foreign influences from America and Japan, through her projects.

Cao Fei, La Town Airport, 2014, Courtesy of artist and Vitamin Creative Space
Cao Fei, La Town Centre Plaza, 2014, Courtesy of artist and Vitamin Creative Space

30 Years of CFCCA | Tsang Kin-Wah

First trumpet in the new millennium

1 - 24 April, Preview – Thursday 7 April, 6-8pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA

Gallery 1

Tsang Kin-Wah held his first solo exhibition in the UK at CFCCA in 2008. He is known for mixing language with floral patterns usually installed as large scale wallpaper prints or immersive projected installations.

30 Years of CFCCA – Chinese New Year 2016

This year CFCCA is combining forces with Heart of Manchester BID to deliver events across the city centre celebrating Chinese New Year 2016, the year of the Monkey.

RareKind China Public Art - Chinese New Year 2016
Thursday 4 - Sunday 7 February 2016
Exchange Square & New Cathedral Street
CFCCA and Heart of Manchester BID have collaborated to splash the streets with colour as we bring vibrant, large-scale graffiti to Manchester as RareKind China artists reflect the story of Chinese New Year. Artists taking part include Rainbo, a female street artist from the China Girls Crew (Hong Kong); Uncle, founder of Afterworkshop urban arts space (Hong Kong); UK-based street artists, Krek and 45RPM. Rainbo and Uncle will be travelling to the UK courtesy of Transnational Dialogues to create collaborative artwork over the Chinese New Year weekend ready for the city centre celebrations on the Sunday.

Emoji Workshops at Manchester Arndale
Saturday 6 February, 12-6pm
Suitable for all ages - Free!
Join CFCCA at the Arndale for a playful look at the art of the emoji. These activities respond to CFCCA exhibiting artist Xu Bing's Book from the Ground, written completely in symbols, emoticons and emojis and our monthly Mandarin Corner group. Come and tell us a story using our emoji dice, make your own emoji and try our Chinese New Year emoji quiz!

RareKind China '廉 Honest'_by_球0528_300_CMYK Xu Bing, 'Book From the Ground', 2013 onwards

30 Years of CFCCA | Gordon Cheung

8 April - 19 June, Preview – Thursday 7 April, 6-8pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA

Gallery 2

Gordon Cheung's relationship with CFCCA began in 2004 when he took part in our unique 'Breathe' artist-in-residence programme. In 2008 he returned to Gallery 1 with his solo exhibition Death by a Thousand Cuts.

 Gordon Cheung, Living Mountain
Gordon Cheung, Forbidden City
Lee Mingwei. Between Going and Staying, 2007 (1)

30 Years of CFCCA | Lee Mingwei

Between Going and Staying

6 - 29 May, Preview – Thursday 5 May, 6-8pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA

Gallery 1

Between Going and Staying is an arresting installation inspired by Octavio Paz's poem of the same name. Fine black sand falls continuously through a broken light bulb suspended from the ceiling, quietly filling the entire room to a melodic soundtrack played on an Asian cello-like instrument called a MaToChin.

30 Years of CFCCA | susan pui san lok

RoCH Fans & Legends
3 June - 3 July, Preview – Thursday 2 June, 6-8pm
Part of 30 years of CFCCA

Gallery 1

susan pui san lok presents a new body of work titled RoCH Faans & Legends, commissioned by QUAD and CFCCA, in partnership with the University of Salford and Animate projects.  The exhibition features single and multichannel moving image works both in the gallery and online.

Susan Pui San Lok, 'Trilogies', 2015
Susan Pui San Lok, 'Trilogies', 2015, installation view (4)