School of Architecture, CUHK

Frank Vigneron: New Rural Frontier

Date & Time


18:00 - 19:30


Atrium, Lee Shau Kee Architecture Building, CUHK

Abandoned Hakka village in Lai Chi Wo, New Territories, Hong Kong | Photo by Eric Ng

Lecture by Frank Vigneron

While the city and the celebration of urban culture have been at the centre of Mainland China’s development over the last three decades, recent policies have emphasised the need to redevelop the countryside. These policies, generally referred to as “beautiful countryside” and “reviving the country though culture,” are starting to have an impact locally in many rural counties. The example of Hangzhou’s China Academy of Art and its teaching complex in the mountains of Fujian is a perfect example of the art education schemes that have benefitted from these policies. The limitations of such top-down endeavours however can be revealed by comparison with the bottom-up projects launched by artists in the countryside of Taiwan and Hong Kong. While Taiwan remains to this day one the Asia’s most active scenes for socially engaged art practices, Hong Kong is starting to see the emergence of an equally active field. In a setting that is identified only as urban by the general public, several Hong Kong artists and activists dealing with social engagement have explored alternative ways of life in the rural New Territories. This lecture looks at the two widely different rural environments of Mainland China and Hong Kong to try to understand how they vary and what the consequences are for local art practitioners and audiences.

Frank Vigneron is Professor and Chairperson at the Department of Fine Arts, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received a PhD in Chinese Art History from the Paris VII University, a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Paris IV Sorbonne University, and a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Vigneron joined CUHK in 2004, where he teaches Western art history, modernism and postmodernism in art, and Chinese and Western comparative aesthetics. His research focuses on the history of Chinese painting since the 18th century and contemporary Chinese art in a global context. Vigneron is a member of the International Association of Art Critics Hong Kong and a Museum Expert Adviser for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the HKSAR government. He is also a practising artist, and has held exhibitions in Hong Kong and internationally.

Please RSVP by 25 September 2019.

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