• Class Number 4589
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Chaitanya Sambrani
    • Dr Chaitanya Sambrani
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

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.

This course may be offered in semester-long format or as an intensive.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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. display a developed capacity to analyse significant works, the careers of individual artists, and relevant cultural and political histories in formal and contextual terms;
  3. illustrate an understanding of specific historical issues that underpin the development of contemporary art cultures in the Asian region;
  4. show a sophisticated understanding of theoretical frameworks internationally, and to apply insights from these to the chosen case studies; and
  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.

Research-Led Teaching

This course has been developed as a result of my research and curatorial practice across several Asian countries since 2002. My work as art historian, critic and curator has been featured in exhibitions, publications, conferences and workshops in Australia, India, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Korea, UK and USA over this period. The materials taught in this course have been generated through a first-hand engagement with the subject.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

A stable internet connection and access to a computer or other device with web-camera and microphone are essential.


Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: Contemporary Asian Art--where can you find it? What makes it 'Asian'? Choose presentation dates; commence tutorial readings.
2 Contemporary Asian art in Australia Tutorial readings continue.
3 Experimental art in China: a brief history Tutorial readings continue.
4 Contemporary art in China Tutorial readings continue. Tutorial presentations commence.
5 Art, tradition and politics in India Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
6 Contemporary art and activism in India Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
7 Indonesian art since 1970 Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
8 Indonesian art after Reformasi (1998) Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
9 Experimental art in Japan Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
10 Miyazaki, Mononoke Hime Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
11 Contemporary art in Japan Tutorial readings and presentations continue.
12 Intra-asian connectivity in the 'Asian century' Tutorial readings and presentations conclude.
13 Assessment period Research essay due

Tutorial Registration

Students are required to enrol in one of the tutorial groups posted on Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Presentation 30 % * * 1, 2, 3, 5
Research Essay 60 % 03/06/2021 24/06/2021 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation (10%) involves attending and contributing to tutorial discussion (live via Zoom) of readings posted on Wattle, and a minimum of four posts of 150 words on discussion topics via the Wattle forum.


This course does not require students to sit a formal examination.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5

Tutorial Presentation

Students are required to present a tutorial paper using one of the following options:

1. a critique of the career of a significant Asian artist or collective active between 1970 and the present day in China, India, Indonesia or Japan.

2. a review of an exhibition of contemporary Asian art that you have seen.

3. a response to one or two of the designated readings for the course.

Due dates to be finalized during tutorials. Your presentation should be about 12-15 minutes long, or approximately 1500 words. Please upload your presentation to Wattle within one week. This should comprise your notes plus your slides, and a bibliography, including URLs of all websites used.

Your tutorial presentation will be assessed according to the following criteria:

• Relevance to the course material

• Evidence of wide and critical reading and research

• Relevant use of support material such as images or cross-references to other material

• Your ability to interpret the material being discussed, rather than simply to provide information about it

• Your ability to involve your fellow students in discussion

Word limit: 1500 words (apoprox)

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: oral presentation in class unless otherwise agreed; upload files to Wattle within one week.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 03/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 24/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Research Essay

Carefully read through the list and choose one of the essay questions posted on Wattle. Write a 4000-word essay addressing your chosen topic. Your essay should be accompanied by relevant visual documentation, be properly referenced using either footnotes or endnotes using the Chicago Manual of Style, and be accompanied by a bibliography of all sources consulted.

The word limit does not include footnotes/endnotes and bibliography.

See marking rubric posted on Wattle to understand how essays are evaluated.

Word limit: 4000 words

Value: 60%

Presentation requirements: Upload to Wattle via Turnitin by 9 am, 03 June.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All work will be responded to via Wattle and/or email.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Chaitanya Sambrani

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary art in Asia

Art and nationhood

Art and postcoloniality

Art and urbanity

Dr Chaitanya Sambrani

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Chaitanya Sambrani

Research Interests

Dr Chaitanya Sambrani

By Appointment
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions