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Master of Fine Arts

Develop a Career in Studio Art

The programme aims to provide advanced training for students to develop a career in studio art through studio and art theory courses.

Fields of specialization include painting, sculpture, mixed media, Chinese painting, calligraphy, and seal carving.

  • Introduction
  • Curriculum
  • Courses
  • Admission
  • Fees and Funding
  • FAQ
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  • Curriculum

    Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 units of lecture courses for graduation, normally within two years. All students admitted are probationary candidates and will be reviewed for advancement at the end of their first year of study.
    1. Seminar (12 units)
    2. Special Topics in Hong Kong Art (3 units)
    3. Professional Practice (3 units)
    4. Elective Courses (6 units)

    In addition to the lecture courses listed above, students are required to register for Thesis Research and Art Creation courses each term within normative period.

  • Courses

    • FAAS 5101
      Methodology in Art-historical Research

      3 Units

      This course provides students with a thorough understanding of the bibliographical studies as well as the traditional and modern research methodology in Chinese art history.

    • FAAS 5102
      Post-graduate Seminar: Special Topics in Chinese Art

      3 Units

      This course is an in-depth study of selected topics in Chinese art, aiming at providing students with an understanding of special issues related to Chinese art history. Subject to the approval of the Division Head, students are allowed to take FAAS 5102 more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course.

    • FAAS 5103
      Theories of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy

      3 Units

      This course examines in detail the theories of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Major theoretical works will be discussed and analyzed to provide students with an understanding of the criteria, views, documentation, and principles of traditional painting and calligraphy. Twentieth-century theories and their associated debates will also be discussed.

    • FAAS 5104
      Independent Study

      3 Units

      With permission of the teacher, a student may pursue an in-depth study of a topic related to his/her research in consultation with and under the supervision of the teacher. The topic and content of the course will be individually determined. Approval from the respective teacher concerned is necessary prior to course registration.

    • FAAS 5105
      Study of Later Chinese Ceramics

      3 Units

      This course aims to provide a more focused study in the history of Chinese ceramics from the Yuan to the Qing dynasty. It examines the organization, modes of production and artistic characteristics of the imperial porcelains of Jingdezhen, and discusses the interaction between the ceramic industry of Jingdezhen and other production sites inside and outside China. Major research methodologies and approaches to Chinese ceramics will also be introduced. Students are expected to acquire in-depth understanding of the historical development and technological achievements of later Chinese ceramics through studying historical archives, archaeological reports, ceramic samples and scholarly research. They are also required to undertake independent research on selected topics and present a long essay at the end of the course.

    • FAAS 5106
      Schools of Model-calligraphy and Stele Studies

      3 Units

      The course aims at tracing the development of Chinese calligraphy from the migration of the model-calligraphy school to the stele school with special reference to the impact of the Jin-Tang tradition on calligraphers down the ages, factors leading to the rise of stele studies in the Qing dynasty, and the issue of transformation on the basis of the great calligraphic traditions. Topics to be covered include calligraphic theories since the Song dynasty, the prevalence of the Model-calligraphies from the Chunhua Archive and other calligraphic carvings, the preference for copying from ancient masters, the relationship between evidential research and calligraphy, and the works and styles of leading masters. Students of the course are required to conduct thematic research and submit an essay at the end of the term.

    • FAAS 5107
      Art in Europe and North America After WWII

      3 Units

      The art practices developed after WWII in Europe and North America have differed so profoundly from those preceding it that many art historians have recognized an irreconcilable break between the two periods. Generally referred to as ‘postmodern art,’ still the most convenient way to separate these practices from the ones called ‘modernist,’ it has offered an extraordinarily wide array of media and strategies. This course will explore some of the many choices made by the artists of these two geographical areas by analyzing their art against their cultural and social backgrounds

    • FAAS 5108
      Daoist Art and Relics

      3 Units

      This course is designed to enhance student’s ability to conduct research on religious art. In addition to various Daoist art topics, such as Daoist paintings and sculptures, different research methodologies approaches to Daoist art will be introduced. Students are expected to acquire in-depth understanding of the development, function and meaning of Daoist art through studying archaeological and extant Daoist art and artifacts, together with scholarly research on Daoism and religious art theories. They are also required to undertake independent research on selected Daoist art topics and present a long essay at the end of the course.

    • FAAS 5109
      Special Topics in Art History

      3 Units

      This course examines in detail selected topics in art history, such as case study of archaeological discoveries, art of a dynasty, individual artists, etc. It aims at providing students with a full understanding of certain special areas in the history of art. Prerequisite: Any Art History course.

      Subject to the approval of the Division Head, students may take this course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, they cannot take the course for more than once in the same term.

    • FAAS 5110
      History of Chinese Literati Painting

      3 Units

      The course aims at tracing the development of literati painting with special reference to literati views on painting held by Su Shi and others since the Song dynasty, the styles and influences of leading painters, and the issue of transformation on the basis of the great painting traditions. Topics to be covered include theories of literati painting, personal styles and regional painting schools, perpetuation and reinvention of the traditions, paintings as commodities, and elitist and popular tastes. Students of the course are required to conduct thematic research and submit an essay at the end of the term.

    • FAAS 5111
      Comparative Analysis of 17th and 18th Century Painting

      3 Units

      The comparison of theoretical texts written by Chinese and European painters in the 17th and 18th centuries should clarify the differences – and some similarities – present in two artistic traditions that have developed along very different lines. The first part of the course is dedicated to the study and contextualization of representative texts of the period while, in the second part, a number of the comparative themes thus unveiled will be explored in details using also sources other than the domain of visual arts. Although the emphasis of this course will be on the arts of the 17th and 18th centuries, many of the problems raised during this comparative analysis will lead to an exploration of some issues concerning contemporary art in China and the rest of the world.

    • FAAS 5112
      Art Theory in Europe and North America From Antiquity to the Present

      3 Units

      Even a cursory knowledge of Euro-American contemporary art will lead to the realization that one needs to know the writings to understand the visual. If the present situation seems to have made the existence of theory in texts necessary, art theory has however existed for a very long time and in many different forms. To better understand the often very complex thinking that accompanies present-day art practices, it is necessary to understand the history of the thought attached to art. This course specializes in the thinking about art made in Europe and North America from the Antiquity to the present. Three kinds of texts will therefore be used: the writings produced by philosophers about aesthetics and art; the art theory and art criticism written in the public sphere; as well as the writings made by artists on their own practices.

    • FAAS 5201
      Seminar I

      3 Units

      The seminar will be presented as an examination of a specific topic in art history and the theories of modern art and culture with reference to the needs of that particular student. Professors from other departments may be invited by the Department of Fine Arts to assist in the project.

    • FAAS 5202
      Seminar II

      3 Units

      The seminar will be presented as an examination of a specific topic in art history and the theories of modern art and culture with reference to the needs of that particular student. Professors from other departments may be invited by the Department of Fine Arts to assist in the project.

    • FAAS 5203
      Seminar III

      3 Units

      The seminar will be presented as an examination of a specific topic in art history and the theories of modern art and culture with reference to the needs of that particular student. Professors from other departments may be invited by the Department of Fine Arts to assist in the project.

    • FAAS 5204
      Seminar IV

      3 Units

      The seminar will be presented as an examination of a specific topic in art history and the theories of modern art and culture with reference to the needs of that particular student. Professors from other departments may be invited by the Department of Fine Arts to assist in the project.

    • FAAS 5205
      Special Topics in Hong Kong Art

      3 Units

      This course aims to provide in-depth study in the artistic trends in Hong Kong. Students are required to select special topics concerning the infrastructure of contemporary art in Hong Kong and then conduct individual research under faculty guidance.

    • FAAS 5206
      Professional Practice

      3 Units

      The course will equip the students with necessary knowledge of being a professional artist. Topics include legal matters concerning copyright and commission, maintenance of studio, strategies of presenting an exhibition, case studies on space and exhibit, etc.

    • FAAS 5207
      Creative Workshops

      3 Units

      This course is designed to guide student to carry out individual research in their art creation from different perspectives. Students will be encouraged to refine both their knowledge in skill and theory in order to position himself/ herself in the contemporary art world. And by comparing with different art practices, he/she may identifies with his/her strength and uniqueness, thus to develop personal beliefs in art and understand how such art practice could be related to the others. If appropriate, this course may be divided into separate sections to accommodate different needs of individual students, or according to the special interests of the teacher.

      Subject to the approval of the Division Head, students may take this course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, they cannot take the course for more than once in the same term.

    • FAAS 5208
      Special Topics in Studio Art

      3 Units

      This course is designed to cope with timely special issues in visual art, to provide students with opportunities for in-depth studies with specialists/teachers who deal with issues related to current art practice, that are normally not covered by our regular curriculum. Apart from topics covered by teacher, student will be asked to research on topics related to their graduate thesis on individual basis.

      Subject to the approval of the Division Head, students may take this course more than once and gain the units each time they pass the course. However, they cannot take the course for more than once in the same term.

    • FAAS 8161
      Thesis Guidance

      3 Units

      Students who cannot complete the M.F.A. programme in two years’ time may take this course according to their length of study. This course will continue to provide students with guidance on their creative work as well as their written thesis.

    • FAAS 8121
      Art Creation

      6 Units

      This studio course is conducted in the form of supervision, under which in-depth research in art creation is to be made.

    • FAAS 8125
      Thesis Research

      3 Units

      The course aims to provide students with guidance in the production of written thesis, which will serve as a supporting academic document to their creative work.

  • Admission

    In addition to the general qualifications required for admission to the Graduate School (Please refer to the Graduate School website for details), applicants should have majored in Fine Arts. Consideration will also be given to applicants who have minored in Fine Arts and those who have majored in related fields.

    Basis for Selection
    – Statement of purpose (no less than 1,000 words)
    – A portfolio of 15 images of original art works (digital format/photographs)

    Graduation Requirement
    – Submitting a written thesis, in relation to the student’s work of art, supported by the reproductions of his/her original art work.
    – Holding a graduation exhibition in his/her area of study.
    – Passing in both the creative project and written thesis.
    – Passing an oral examination.

  • Fees and Funding

    HK$42,100 (per year).

    Postgraduate Studentships (PGS) are available in most Graduate Division for full-time students registered for research degree programmes. Students awarded studentships will receive stipends in return for assisting in the teaching and research work of the Graduate Division. The provisional monthly stipend for Postgraduate Studentship is around $15,000-$15,526 for 2015-16. For more details about PGS, please refer to the Graduate School website.

  • FAQ

    • What are the entry requirements for postgraduate programmes in CUHK?

      For entry requirements set by the CUHK Graduate School, the best source of information is the Graduate School website.

    • When is the application deadline?

      The application is open from November to January every year. For the exact date of any particular year, please refer to the Graduate School website.

    • What is the difference between research postgraduate and taught postgraduate programmes?

      The CUHK’s research programmes focus mainly on research work and require applicants to have sound research background. Students need to submit a thesis, pass the oral defense in order to graduate. As for Taught programmes, in contrast, focus on coursework. These programmes generally do not require students to submit a thesis.

    • What is the difference between Master of Fine Art Program (M.F.A.) and Master of Arts in Fine Arts (Part-time) Programme (M.A. in Fine Arts)?
        M.F.A. M.A. in Fine Arts
      Programme Research Postgraduate Taught Postgraduate
      Study Mode Full Time Part Time
      Study Year 2 2
      Teaching Classroom teaching and thesis research Classroom teaching
      Timetable Flexible (It depends on the number of courses which a student takes) Twice a week (1 week-day evening and 1 week-end afternoon)
      Tuition Fee (provisional) HKD 42,100.00 (per year) HKD 60,000.00 (per year)
      Graduation Requirement – Submitting a written thesis, in relation to the student’s work of art, supported by the reproductions of his/her original art work.
      – Holding a graduation exhibition in his/her area of study.
      – Passing in both the creative project and written thesis.
      – Passing an oral examination
      – Pass in all subjects and graduation project*

      * Graduation project includes an artist statement and a graduation exhibition in respective area of specialization.

    • I am from a non-English-speaking country. Am I required to present any proof of English proficiency?

      Please see the Graduate School website for details of English Language Proficiency Requirement.