Dr Shuxia Chen

Dr Shuxia Chen

BBA (Hons) MVA (Hons) MA PhD 

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Art & Design

Shuxia is an art historian and curator. She holds a PhD from the Australian National University, an MA in Art History and Theory from the University of Sydney, and an MA in Studio Art (Honours) from Sydney College of the Arts. Her research concerns the relationship between visual art, society and politics in China, particularly the role of photography in forming new understandings of the transversal space between state and the cultural-intellectual classes in the socialist and post-socialist era. She joins UNSW Art & Design with rich interdisciplinary knowledge between art history and theory, Chinese Studies and sociology, spanning research, publication and teaching, as well as significant industry experience in the GLAM sector. Shuxia is working on two book projects: A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980 (Shanghai, 2022), and Chinese Toggles: Culture in Miniature (Sydney, 2023). In addition to her 0.5 lecturer position here, she is also Curator, China Gallery, Chau Chak Wing Museum, the University of Sydney.

Oxford St & Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    2022, 'A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980', in Chen S (ed.), A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980, Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House, Shanghai
    Book Chapters | 2021
    2021, 'Lindy Lee', in Stephen A (ed.), Light and Darkness Late Modernism and the JW Power Collection, Power Publications
    Book Chapters | 2018
    2018, 'Ren Hang: Bodies Without Redemption', in Gilded Age: Made In China Year Book 2017, ANU Press, Canberra, http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/MIC.04.2018.37
    Book Chapters | 2017
    2017, 'Chinese Photography', in Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Routledge, UK, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781135000356-REMO24-1
    Book Chapters | 2016
    2016, 'Authentically Socialist: a window on a Communist utopia’', in PLA Picture Pub: Long Live the Glorious ‘May Seventh Directive’, Errata Editions, New York
    Book Chapters | 2015
    2015, 'Looking Backward: Chinese Art in 2014', in Shared Destiny: China Story Year Book 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/CSY.11.2015
  • Edited Books | 2022
    Chen S, (ed.), 2022, A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980, Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House, Shanghai
  • Journal articles | 2020
    2020, 'Photography Institutions Burgeoning in China', Trans-Asia Photography Review, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7977573.0010.215
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980', Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art
    Journal articles | 2019
    2019, 'Photographic Praxis in China, 1930s-1980s: A conversation with Chen Shuxia, Shi Zhimin, and Zhou Dengyan about Shi Shaohua and the Friday Salon', Trans-Asia Photography Review, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7977573.0009.206
    Journal articles | 2017
    2017, 'Departing from Socialist Realism: the April Photo Society, 1979-1981', Trans-Asia Photography Review, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7977573.0008.103
    Journal articles | 2015
    2015, 'Manipulation as Art: Photographs by Xu Zhuo, 1979–1981', Trans-Asia Photography Review, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.7977573.0006.103
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Edge of elsewhere', Artforum International
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'The 17th Biennale of Sydney', Artforum International
    Journal articles | 2010
    2010, 'Wang Jianwei: the great politics of human interaction', Realtime
    Journal articles | 2008
    2008, 'Julian Schnabel', Artforum International
    Journal articles | 2008
    2008, 'Roland Fischer', Artforum International
  • Curatorial Outputs | 2022
    2022, Sentient Paper, exhibited at: China Gallery, Chau Chak Wing Museum, the University of Sydney, 11 June 2022 -
    Creative Written Works | 2021
    2021, Auspicious: Motifs in Chinese Art, TAASA Review, TAASA Review
    Conference Presentations | 2021
    2021, 'Picturing a Psychic World of 1980s Taiwan', presented at Remembering Taiwan’s Martial Law Conference
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2021
    2021, (un)spoken, The First Trans-Southeast Asia Triennial, Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, 08 March 2021 - 10 May 2021, medium: performance, video installation, at: http://www.gzarts.edu.cn/info/1085/29886.htm
    Curatorial Outputs | 2021
    2021, Wayfaring: Photography in 1970s-80s Taiwan, exhibited at: Canberra, 30 July 2021 - 28 November 2021, http://ciw.anu.edu.au/events/wayfaring-photography-1970s-80s-taiwan
    Conference Presentations | 2020
    2020, 'Within and Without: Di Yuancang and Introduction of Western Photography to Socialist China, 1949-1979', presented at College Art Association, Chicago
    Curatorial Outputs | 2020
    2020, Auspicious: Motifs in Chinese Art, exhibited at: Chau Chak Wing Museum, the University of Sydney, - , https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2020/11/23/inaugural-china-gallery-show-examines-culture-of-auspiciousness.html
    Conference Presentations | 2019
    2019, 'The Aura of Reproduction: When Photography Met Photocopier in 1980s China', presented at College Art Association, New York
    Conference Presentations | 2018
    2018, 'The Birth of a Liupai: the Fission Group, 1986-1988', presented at AAANZ, Melbourne
    Curatorial Outputs | 2018
    2018, A Home for Photography Learning: the Friday Salon, exhibited at: Taikang Space, Beijing, - , http://www.taikangspace.com/shows/index/227.html
    Conference Presentations | 2017
    2017, 'Learning from Home: the Friday Salon, 1977-1980', presented at Centre for Chinese Visual Art 10th Annual Conference, Birmingham City University, UK
    Conference Presentations | 2014
    2014, 'Photographic Encounters: Photographs of Lois Conner and Her Journeys to the Reforming China', presented at AAANZ, Launceston
    Conference Presentations | 2014
    2014, 'The Human Self and Breaking from “the Mass”: April Photo Society 1979-1981', presented at American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference, New York
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    2012, Dreamscape, Make Yourself at Home: Emerging Chinese-Australian Artists, ChinaLink Gallery, Sydney, - , medium: mixed media installation, recorded cassettes
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    2012, Egg Friends, Made in China, Australia, Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart), Burnie Regional Gallery (TAS) 1 February – 1 March 2013 McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park (VIC) 17 March – 9 June 2013 Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery (NSW) 21 June – 28 July 2013 Adelaide Festival Centre (SA) 6 August – 22 October 2013 Ararat Regional Art Gallery (VIC) 27 March – 18 May 2014 Kickarts Contemporary Arts, Cairns (QLD) 2 June – 5 July 2014 Artspace Mackay (QLD) 5 September – 18 October 2014 Grafton Regional Gallery (NSW) 10 December 2014 – 1 February 2015 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (TAS) 21 February – 3 May 2015, - , at: https://www.salarts.org.au/event/made-in-china-australia/
    Curatorial Outputs | 2012
    2012, Make Yourself at Home: Emerging Chinese-Australian Artists, exhibited at: ChinaLink Gallery, Sydney, -
    Curatorial Outputs | 2012
    2012, Shen Jiawei: Brothers and Sisters, exhibited at: Seymour Centre, the University of Sydney, -
    Creative Works (non-textual) | 2012
    2012, Untitled, Comings and Goings: Chinese-Australian Artists, ChinaLink Gallery, Sydney, - , medium: mixed media installation and performance


  • David Scott Memorial Fellowship, State Library of New South Wales, 2022 
  • Travelling Fellowship, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2020 (postponed)
  • China Professional Placement, Australia Council for the Arts, 2020
  • The Taiwan National Photographic Assets Curatorial Project Grant by Ministry of Culture, Taiwan, 2020
  • Publication grant, Gordon Darling Foundation, 2020
  • Visiting Scholar, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, 2017
  • Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Curatorial Residency Programme 2014
  • Travel Grant, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong, 2013
  • Community Grant for exhibition Make yourself at home, City of Sydney, 2012

Current research projects include:

  • The "Grey Zone": Self-Organised Photography Groups in Beijing, 1977-1988
  • Amateur Photographic Practice and its Cultural Networks in Taiwan and Hong Kong, 1970s-1990s

My Teaching

SAHT9131 Museum and Visual Cultures in the Asia-Pacific

SAHT9117 Contemporary Curating