June 15, 2018

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2017 Grantees

Asia Art Archive

Courtesy of Asia Art Archive.

Asia Art Archive (AAA) announces the 2017 grantees of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant.

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant offers grantees a one-year fellowship to conduct research on contemporary art from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The top grantee is awarded USD 15,000, while two runners-up receive USD 5,000 each. Grant recipients are expected to research on-site at AAA for up to two months, in addition to conducting fieldwork in the region relevant to the project.

Awarded Research Proposals 2017

Major Grant
Li Shi, "Li Zhensheng's Photographic Self-portraits between the 1950s and 1980s"

Secondary Grants
Linda Huang, "Re-imagining Post-socialist Corporeality: Technology, Body, and Nation in Post-1989 Chinese Art"

Svetlana Kharchenkova, "How to Create an Art Market: Emergence of the Contemporary Art Market in China in a Global Perspective"

About the projects

Li Shi's research examines Li Zhensheng's self-portraits made from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, and determines how these photographs respond to his personal circumstances and China's significant societal shifts within that timeframe. Li Zhensheng was one of the very few photographers who, despite political sanction, documented the bleaker aspects of the Cultural Revolution in China. Yet he also operated as a propaganda worker at an official newspaper and produced glorified images that contributed to the deification of Chairman Mao Zedong. With its interdisciplinary nature, Li Shi's proposed project analyses the self-portrait both as artefact and self-representation, and aims to be a meaningful exercise in bridging the field of art history and criticism with that of media and communication studies.

Linda Huang's research addresses the influences of post-Mao information fantasy on the conceptual development of Chinese media art. Her study centres on themes including post-Mao technocracy, the politics of "human," bodily-engaged media practices, and artistic resistance to a depoliticised cultural politics in post-reform China.

Svetlana Kharchenkova's research project investigates the market context of Chinese contemporary art and art world participants. In recent decades, the market has become central to the art world in Mainland China. As the state retreated from direct control of the arts, it is the market that now constitutes the context for artistic production and consumption. This project adopts a sociological approach and proposes to address how the contemporary art market in Mainland China developed since the early 1990s, how it functions, and how this emergence relates to globalisation.


Li Shi received her PhD in mass communications at Indiana University Bloomington. She is currently Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her essay on the rise of citizen photojournalism during the April Fifth Movement, published in Visual Communication Quarterly, was nominated for "Outstanding Journal Article of the Year" at the 2013 International Communication Association (Journalism Studies Division). Her 2018 publication in Asian Journal of Communication focuses on Chinese photojournalism reform in the 1980s.

Linda Huang is a PhD candidate in art history at The Ohio State University. She received the Mudrak Fund for Dissertation Research in 2016. She has held curatorial positions at FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art.

Svetlana Kharchenkova received her PhD in sociology at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), University of Amsterdam. She is lecturer of contemporary Chinese culture and society at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies. Her writings are forthcoming or published in Socio-Economic Review; Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts; and The China Quarterly.

Jury for The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2017
Julia Andrews
, Professor, The Ohio State University
Lai Hsiang Ling, Director, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab
Martina Köppel-Yang, Paris-based independent art historian and curator
Jane DeBevoise, Art Historian, Chairperson of Asia Art Archive’s Board of Directors
Anthony Yung, Researcher, Asia Art Archive

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