Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen

Galleries 1 & 2

Lin Ke
MAP Office
Ellen Pau
Dani Ploeger
Unknown Fields
Yang Yongliang

3 November –
4 February 2018

Launch event
Thursday 2 November
6pm – 8pm

Digital Matters Symposium
Friday 3 November
10:30am – 5pm

Whilst the world is increasingly dependent on digital technologies, the physical impact of the electronics we use daily is often ignored. The complex internal structures of a mobile phone or a PC require not only the extraction of natural resources but also thousands of unique parts to be manufactured and disposed of in a cycle of production that enables us to engage in the digital realm. However, as the scale and potentially harmful impact of these processes becomes greater we must ask ourselves what is the social and environmental cost of our consumer desires?

Digital Matters: the earth behind the screen is a group exhibition exploring the relationship between the natural and the technological through artworks produced in Hong Kong and China. The participating artists attempt to interrogate the material foundations of our contemporary digital universe and its related socio-political and environmental concerns.

Artist duo MapOffice explore the numerous territorial disputes in the South and East China seas, in which the exhaustion of natural resources is a key issue. Design research studio Unknown Fields use animation and film to document the global production chain of electronic devices revealing the terrifying natural and social consequences of mineral extraction. New media artist Lin Ke playfully visualises nature in the era of climate change using only familiar software packages and his Mac’s user interface. Similarly, Yang Yongliang’s detailed digital motifs evolve from the traditional Chinese landscape tradition to question uncontrolled urbanisation and industrialisation in China, and how traditional customs and heritage are being forgotten and destroyed in the process. Ellen Pau and Dani Ploeger invite audiences to consider the threats of global production and consumption of electronics and start conversations about our role as consumers.

Curated by Marianna Tsionki (Research Curator, CFCCA & University of Salford) under the aegis of Manchester Metropolitan University as part of a curatorial industry based PhD.

Find out more about the Digital Matters Symposium held in conjunction with the exhibition on Friday 3 November, here.

Lin Ke, Robinson Crusoe (2011). Installation view. Image courtesy of the artist.


Film Night: Cao Fei’s Haze & Fog, 2013

Film Night: Cao Fei’s Haze & Fog, 2013
16 November, 6 – 7.30pm
Free entry, reserve your place HERE
Studio Theatre, New Adelphi Building, University of Salford

The first co-commission between CFCCA and the University of Salford Art Collection, enjoy this screening of Cao Fei’s Haze & Fog followed by an informal discussion on its themes. Haze & Fog takes on the popular zombie movie genre to explore contemporary society in China.



Every Tuesday, 5-7pm
Free, drop in

Youthlab is open to young people aged 14-19 living in Greater Manchester. We meet weekly on Tuesdays, 5-7pm. No experience necessary to take part in our, free, fun and informal arts workshops & learning.

During your time with Youthlab you will take part in workshops, meet artists & gallery staff, visit other cultural spaces, research things that interest you and share your skills with others. The main aims of the group will be to allow young people the opportunity to provide views, ideas and fresh perspectives to inform the galleries future programme and events.

Recently, Youthlab have made stop motion animations, hosted their own block printing workshop, produced an exhibition, collaborated with Whitworth Young Contemporaries and learnt how use creative technology at MadLab.

As part of Youthlab you can work towards achieving an Arts Award Bronze, a unique qualification provided by Arts Award which supports young people to grow as artists and arts leaders, inspiring them to connect with & take part in the wider arts world.

CFCCA can offer a small travel bursary of up to £5 per session per participant for public transport to the gallery to attend Youthlab. Please present your valid bus/tram/train tickets at the start of each session.

Upcoming dates:
Tuesday 21 November
Tuesday 28 November
Tuesday 5 December
Tuesday 12 December
Tuesday 19 December

Thursday Late – A Window On… Rare Earths

Thursday Late - A Window On… Rare Earths
Thursday 30 November, 6 – 7.30pm

Artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway will present their film Kuannersuit; Kvanefjeld (2016), a work-in-progress, forming the first part of the artists’ long-term investigation into the conflicts facing the community of Narsaq in southern Greenland. Narsaq is located next to the pristine Kvanefield Mountain, site of one of the richest rare earth mineral resources in the world, and the fifth largest uranium deposit. The screening will be followed by a Q&A.

This Thursday Late coincides with the open studio for our artist in residence Tzu-Ting Wang from Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan.

Thursday Late at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
On the last Thursday of the month the gallery stays open until 8pm offering an opportunity to drop in and enjoy an evening in the gallery or participate in a series of unique events exploring different aspects of the exhibitions programme. The event will start with welcoming Chinese Tea tasting experience led by local tea experts Tea Mandala.

Residency: Tzu-Ting Wang

Tzu-Ting Wang
Taipei Artist Village; Artist in
Residence exchange
8 October – 19 December
Open studio:
Thursday 30 November, 6 – 8pm
Recent fine art graduate Tzu-Ting Wang will take up residence at CFCCA as part of our annual exchange programme with Taipei Artist Village. Tzu-Ting Wang plans to use the residency to continue her interest in finding ways to create visual representations of the different states of emotion. Her work incorporates a diverse range of mediums such as painting, book binding and installations.

Visit the CFCCA website and follow our social media for more information about Tzu-Ting Wang’s residency and live updates as it progresses.

Mandarin Corner

Every first Saturday of the month, 1.30 - 3.30pm 

Saturday 2 December

Mandarin Corner is an informal monthly workshop for those with an interest in learning more about Mandarin language and broader Chinese culture. The sessions are hosted by CFCCA volunteers and cover spoken and written Mandarin, across a wide variety of topics - often themed to CFCCA's current exhibitions or other current affairs

Session are free, informal and open to all, from complete beginners and upwards! It's a great way to test and develop your spoken and written Mandarin as well as gain a greater understanding of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.

Booking is not required however please ensure you arrive on time for the start of the sessions.
For more information and enquiries please email:

Rare Book Club: CFCCA Archives

Rare Book Club: CFCCA Archives
7 December, 6 – 8pm
Free entry, reserve your place HERE

A behind the scenes look at the rich resource of leaflets, books, photographs and newspaper cuttings that tell the important story of CFCCA’s 30-year history while providing a unique insight into the social history of the Chinese community in Manchester.

Wrapping Paper Printing Workshop

Saturday 9th December
11am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3pm
£4. Booking required.

Join printmaker, Sally Gilford to design and print your own wrapping paper just in time for the festive season.

Inspired by the current exhibition, Digital Matters, you will have the opportunity to explore expressive print and pattern in this taster workshop.

Complete the perfect gift by wrapping it in your one of a kind handmade creations.

Places are limited & booking is essential.

Suitable for all ages and abilities, under 12's must be supervised by an adult.

Book your ticket here.

Christmas Carols with Hallé Ancoats Community Choir

Christmas Carols with Hallé Ancoats Community Choir
Saturday 9 December
Free. Drop in.

As part of CFCCA's festive weekend we welcome Hallé Ancoats Community Choir into the gallery. Enjoy the festive spirit and sing along to some classic Christmas carols.

Workshop: Tea Total

Tea Total: Tea Tasting Workshops with Tea Mandala
Sunday 10 December, 2pm – 4pm
Festive Weekend Special with winter themed teas!
£10, Advance booking required - CLICK HERE

Join us on a journey from leaf to cup, and sample some of the finest teas from China and all over the world. We’ll show you how to get the best flavour from your tea leaves with some expert brewing tips, and demonstrate different ways to infuse them, from traditional methods to modern techniques. Whether you love your ‘normal tea’ with milk, or consider yourself a tea connoisseur, these are enjoyable and informative afternoons for all.

Our workshops are led by Tea Mandala, a Manchester based venture that aims to share and educate people about the healing properties of tea (camellia sinensis) and herbal infusions. They source, create and blend teas and herbs from their own unique recipes inspired by their travels in India, China and around the world, studying the ancient medicine system of Ayurveda, and passion for flavour.