The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

A new pioneering collaboration

We are delighted to be announcing The Courtauld x Asymmetry Chinese and Sinophone Contemporary Art Research Programme. This pioneering collaboration will consist of two Postdoctoral Fellowships, a public lecture series, as well as an annual international symposium, and will be a unique opportunity for exceptional scholars to advance and diversify the study of Chinese and Sinophone contemporary art in one of the world's leading centres for history of art and conservation.


This multilayered collaboration marks the first time in The Courtauld’s rich history, partnering with an emerging foundation whose mission is to diversify the academic landscape and artistic arenas; offering an opportunity for exceptional scholars to develop their research, build professional networks, gain teaching experience, and become leaders in the field. A highlight of this unique partnership will be The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chinese and Sinophone Contemporary Art, a dedicated programme that will foster the sustained and collaborative study of Chinese and Sinophone contemporary artistic practice, cultivating and building upon important dialogues and passages of knowledge that make up the landscape of Sinophone discourse.

“Our mission to promote research and knowledge of Chinese and Sinophone contemporary art and curatorial practice should also include studying the discipline of Art History and its relevant fields, which is why the collaboration with The Courtauld is so meaningful. There are currently very few universities in the world that offer this at such a dedicated standard, so being able to contribute to the canon with the programmes that we have created together makes this partnership even more unique.”
– Yan Du, Founding Director at Asymmetry Art Foundation
“Being able to return to my alma mater and working with The Courtauld towards more inclusivity and representation in the research and promotion of Art History is not only fulfilling on a personal level, but essential in the achievement of a more diverse artistic and academic landscape.”
– Michèle Ruo Yi Landolt, Director at Asymmetry Art Foundation


At the core of the diverse programming is The Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellowship, a teaching and research post in a world-leading institution. The Fellowship will create career-defining opportunities for future work within the international contemporary art and academic world, contributing to contemporary art history, alongside curatorial practice. This collaboration will broaden our core mission of deepening cultural knowledge in and about Asia through meaningful exchanges and progressive research opportunities, to further integrate this field into the future of art and its wider discourse.

The Fellowship will be a two year fully funded placement, granted to academics with a doctorate (PhD) in art history and/or related disciplines, and a strong research portfolio in Chinese and/or Sinophone contemporary art. Selected from an Open call via The Courtauld, the first fellow will begin their placement in autumn 2022, and the second in autumn 2024.

Further, the programme will also feature The Asymmetry Extinguished Lecture Series, a key series of talks as part of The Courtauld Research Forum, which will bring together influential guest speakers including artists, curators, art historians and writers from relevant fields to present lectures, participate in talks and chair panels on Chinese and Asian contemporary art for students and the wider public. Opening up new perspectives for discussion, the lecture series will also be followed by The Asymmetry International Symposium, an annual conference to advance research and debates around contemporary art in China and the Sinophone world. The symposium will be an important occasion and point of academic exchange aimed at expanding global dialogues, and conversations surrounding the Sinophone landscape to wider audiences.

Supervised by Dr Wenny Teo, The Courtauld's Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, the Fellows will also be involved in the organisation of the lecture series and international symposium, in addition to their own academic research and teaching posts.

“We are grateful to Asymmetry, whose generous grant has enabled us to invest in these posts, lectures series and annual symposium. These roles will continue to transform The Courtauld’s areas of research, and play a role in our continuing efforts to decentre and decolonise the curriculum."
– Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director at The Courtauld
“It is an honour to collaborate with the Asymmetry Art Foundation towards fostering innovative research in the dynamic field of Chinese and Sinophone contemporary art and nurturing future generations of scholars. We are excited to welcome the Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellows to The Courtauld’s vibrant research culture, and look forward to the critical debates and conversations engendered by the annual lecture series and international symposium.”
– Dr Wenny Teo, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at The Courtauld

The 2024 Open Call for the Asymmetry Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chinese and Sinophone Contemporary Art is now open. Read more details here.

The Courtauld Institute of Art