New Placement

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Original image courtesy of Feixuan Xu

We are excited to announce the inaugural recipient of the Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chinese and Sinophone Contemporary Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Dr Feixuan Xu, a Hong Kong-based scholar, specialising in anthropology of art, begins her two-year placement this autumn term 2022 under the mentorship of Dr Wenny Teo — The Courtauld’s Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art.

Selected from an Open Call via The Courtauld earlier this year, Feixuan’s research will traverse ecocriticism, multispecies ethnography and the anthropology of art to determine how to sense, understand, criticise and curate ‘multispecies art’ in a non-alienated manner. Her research will result in publications and collaborations with local museums and galleries.


The Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chinese and Sinophone Contemporary Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art is a dedicated postdoctoral fellowship which fosters sustained and collaborative study of Chinese and Sinophone contemporary artistic practice. For the first time in The Courtauld’s rich history, the esteemed institution has collaborated with Asymmetry, a young emerging foundation with a mission to create a more diverse landscape in the academic and artistic arenas, to offer an opportunity for exceptional scholars to develop their research, build professional networks, gain teaching experience and become leaders in the field. The Postdoctoral Fellow will also co-organise The Asymmetry Extinguished Lecture Series and the annual Asymmetry International Symposium amongst other exciting projects.

Granted to early career academics with a doctorate in art history or related disciplines with a strong research portfolio in Chinese and/or Sinophone contemporary art, The Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellowship is a two-year fully funded placement. Selected from an Open Call via The Courtauld, the second fellow will start in September 2024.

This Fellowship at The Courtauld is one of four Asymmetry placements taking place in London, alongside the PhD Scholarship for the ‘Advanced Practices’ programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, (recently awarded to Yuhang Zhang), the Curatorial Fellowship at Whitechapel Gallery and the Curatorial Writing Fellowship at Chisenhale Gallery, London.

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London


Feixuan Xu (b. Guangxi, China) is an anthropologist specialising in anthropology of art, multispecies ethnography and ecocriticism. She obtained a PhD in Creative Media from City University of Hong Kong in 2022.

Her ethnography-based doctoral thesis scrutinises how the Daoist concept ‘ziran’ was paradoxically implemented in artist Liang Shaoji’s collaboration with silkworms assisted by farmers and biologists. Feixuan’s current research centres on labour, sensory knowledge, situated ethics and non-alienated curation in multispecies art.

She received the Fulbright Research Scholar Award 2019/2020, being hosted by New York University for six months. Feixuan also holds an MA in Socio-cultural Anthropology from Durham University and a BA in English from Beijing Language and Culture University. From 2016 to 2017, she worked as an editor at Dolphin Books of China International Publishing Group. From 2016 to 2019, she worked part-time with the Education Department of Shanghai Museum for the public education programme ‘Museums and Ancient American Civilization’.