• Offered by School of Art and Design
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Art History
  • Areas of interest Art History, Digital Arts, Visual Arts, Creative Arts, Arts

Contemporary art from various Asian contexts has attained a high level of international visibility during the past two decades. In part brought about by geopolitical developments, a major and continuing realignment of international exhibition rationales has seen the work of a number of Asian artists featured regularly in major biennial and triennial exhibitions around the world. This new visibility for non-western art is also related to the critique of Eurocentric, universalist ideologies that has influenced recent scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

This course introduces students to a varied and exciting range of artistic practices from contemporary India, Indonesia, Japan and China. Students will also be offered an understanding of political, cultural and artistic contexts against which this work may be located. Questions of postcolonial politics, globalisation and nationalism will be addressed as part of the theoretical framework.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the major trajectories in contemporary visual art in the four countries selected as case studies, i.e., India, Indonesia, China and Japan.
  2. Demonstrate a developed capacity to analyse significant works, the careers of individual artists, and relevant cultural and political histories in formal and contextual terms.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of specific historical issues that underpin the development of contemporary art cultures in the Asian region.
  4. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of theoretical frameworks internationally, and to apply insights from these to the chosen case studies.
  5. Present thorough written and oral arguments that address the implications of key works, and/or the careers of individuals or collectives within the framework of issues discussed in the course.

Indicative Assessment

Oral Presentation including submission of PowerPoint Slides/presentation notes, 12 minutes (30%) Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,5

Essay, 4500 words (60%) Learning Outcomes 1-5

Participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-5

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: one 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks (a total of 3 hours contact per teaching week)
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed any of the following courses: ARTV2053, ARTV6053 or ARTH2163.

Preliminary Reading

Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, exhibition catalogues: 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007, 2012. Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.
AWAS!: recent art from Indonesia, Melbourne : Indonesian Arts Society, 1999.
Gao Minglu, ed., Inside Out: New Chinese Art, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Poshyananda, Apinan, et. al., Contemporary Art in Asia: Traditions/ Tensions, New York: Asia Society Galleries ; Roseville, N.S.W. : G+B Arts International, 1996.
Dysart, Dinah and Hannah Fink, eds., Asian women artists, Roseville East, N.S.W.: Craftsman House, 1996.
Huangfu, Binghui, ed., Text and Subtext: Contemporary Art and Asian Woman, Singapore: Earl Lu Gallery, 2000.
Munroe, Alexandra, Japanese art after 1945: scream against the sky, New York : Harry N. Abrams, 1994.
Sambrani, Chaitanya, et. al., Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India. London: Philip Wilson, 2005
Wu Hung, Exhibiting experimental art in China, Chicago: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, Univ of Chicago, 2000.

Available on the course WATTLE site.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3000
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $4560
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4589 22 Feb 2021 01 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2021 28 May 2021 In Person View

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