Chinese contemporary art – where to find the most up-to-date news

How to keep abreast of the Chinese contemporary art scene, according to curator and academic Rachel Marsden.

From blogs to Tumblrs and beyond, the world of online self-publishing is one of the best places to find up-to-date news on Chinese contemporary art. We bring you the best sites to follow right now.

Yang Yongliang, 'Waxing crescent moon', 2012, "The Moonlight", digital print, 90 x 90 cm. Image courtesy mc2gallery.

Yang Yongliang, ‘Waxing crescent moon’, 2012, “The Moonlight” series, digital print, 90 x 90 cm. Image courtesy mc2gallery.

Following on from “The top online resources for Chinese contemporary art – curator Rachel Marsden’s tips” and “Chinese contemporary art according to Instagram – curator Rachel Marsden on who to follow now“, the final in this series of articles focuses on Chinese contemporary art news as it happens – the world of self-publishing websites including blogs, WordPress and Tumblr sites. The sixteen stated below are the “where to go” reads to keep up-to-date with Chinese contemporary art and its place globally, culturally, socially and economically.

Alternative Archive

Written by curator, editor, artist and designer Ou Ning, this archival blog shows Ou’s cultural practice across various disciplines and his endeavours as an activist. He is founder of U-thèque, an independent film and video organisation, and Bishan Commune, an intellectual group who devote themselves to the rural reconstruction movement in China.

不知道 i don’t know – escdotdot

Beijing writer and critic Edward Sanderson provides critical perspectives and research on the China’s contemporary art and music scenes, or in Sanderson’s terms, “intangible cultural activity.” Currently, Sanderson is based in the UK, but maintains an interest in the intersection of social, political and artistic practices in China.

Iona Whittaker

Beijing-based art critic and editor Iona Whittaker runs a professional archive, supplemented by her personal experiences of the Beijing art scene. Originally from London, Whittaker first came to Beijing in early 2009 and is the editor at Randian, the only independent magazine for creative culture in China. Her writing, interviews and exhibition reviews also appear in print and online worldwide.

Border Studies

Compiled by Samantha Culp, Border Studies encompasses everything from art to film, aesthetics to anxieties. It is a blog of “visual inspiration” and “cultural remixing” from Asia, taken from Culp’s original project and website New Territories, an experimental studio for research and production based in Shanghai, China.

Photography of China

An archive and resource blog established in 2011 by French PhD researcher Marine Cabos who is based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. The site is a collection of photographs by Chinese and non-Chinese artists that aims to look at the role that photography plays in shaping China’s image whilst trying to avoid discussions as to what actually constitutes “Chinese” photography.

Shenzhen Noted

A hidden gem of a blog that focuses on the Southern China city of Shenzhen, mapping, both visually and textually, the city’s shifting cultural landscapes, historic contexts, urban transformations and emerging “cosmographies”.

Rachel Marsden

By transcultural curator, arts writer, lecturer and researcher Rachel Marsden, this blog provides honest and open accounts of Marsden’s professional, cultural and day-to day experiences in the world of Chinese contemporary art.


JJ. Acuna, Founder and Editor of theWanderlister+, is an architect and interior designer, and here a style blogger where his posts show his likes and experiences from Hong Kong, China.

Asian Art Museum Blog

Compiled by the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, one of the world’s largest museums devoted to Asian art and culture, but specifically run by the Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture, this blog provides everything from historical research perspectives on Asian art through to the contemporary movement.

Asia Society Tumblr

The Tumblr site for Asia Society reveals insights into the global non-profit educational institution, which has sites in New York, Hong Kong and Houston, and affiliated offices around the world.

ArtAsiaPacific Blog

Set up in January 2011, ArtAsiaPacific’s blog runs in parallel with their print magazine, covering contemporary art and culture from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

Beijing Cream – A Dollop of China

As its name suggests, this site provides “a dollop of China” online. Accessible, easy to read and diverse in content, there is something for everyone.

Tea Leaf Nation

An e-magazine founded in December 2011 as a resource for China experts “of all stripes” from journalists to academics, economists to educators. Another easy-read resource where they scour social media to spot everyday trends, which they then delve into in more detail.

Sinosphere: Dispatches from ChinaThe New York Times

The China blog of The New York Times, delivering both intimate and authoritative discussion and debate on China’s culture, economy and politics and its relationship with the rest of the world.

China Real Time Report Wall Street Journal

Called a “resource for an expanding global community”, here the Wall Street Journal, like The New York Times (above) and The Economist (below), keeps up with China as it changes minute-by-minute. Providing more economic and societal based perspectives, the site also draws on the insights of journalists who focus on specific topics, including law, policy, economics and culture.

Analects ChinaThe Economist

Insights into China’s politics, business, society and culture from multi-voices at The Economist. Defined as “an allusion to Confucius, the name means ‘things gathered up’ or ‘literary fragments’.”

Rachel Marsden

Related Topics: Chinese art, art resources, resource alert, lists, art and the internet

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