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Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.)/ Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chinese Art

The programme provides academic training for students to conduct advanced research on history, theory and studio practice of Chinese art. It adopts an all-inclusive approach to Chinese art──traditional, modern, international and contemporary. It consists of two streams.

 

Ph.D. in Chinese Art (Art History) Stream aims to train up students with the ability to perform original and rigorous research in the fields of histories and theories of Chinese painting and calligraphy, seal carving, Buddhist and Daoist art, funerary art, jades, bronzes, ceramics, prints, as well as contemporary art.

 

Ph.D. in Chinese Art (Art Practice) Stream aims to train up practice-based students to embark on careers in various fields of creative arts related to a wide spectrum of Chineseness both in traditional and contemporary sense. Students are expected to make an original contribution to the area of study by means of thesis writing and creative work.

 

Programme Streams

The Ph.D. programme is divided into TWO streams:

A. Art History

B. Art Practice

Stream declaration should be done when submitting the application.

 

Fields of Specialization

A. Art History

– Histories and theories of Chinese painting and calligraphy, seal carving, Buddhist and Daoist art, funerary art, jades, bronzes, ceramics, prints, contemporary art, etc.

B. Art Practice

– All fields of creative arts related to a wide spectrum of Chineseness both in traditional and contemporary sense.

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

    M.Phil. Students

    Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 units of lecture courses for graduation, normally within two years.

    (a) Required courses
    FAAS5101 3 units
    FAAS5102 (At least take 3 times) 9 units
    (b) Elective courses 6 units
    Total: 18 units


    In addition to the lecture courses listed above, students are required to register for Thesis Research courses each term.

     

    Ph.D. Students

    A. Art History
    For students entering with a research master’s degree:
    Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 units of lecture courses in the pre-candidacy stage, completion of which will be part of the candidacy requirements.

    (a) Required courses
    FAAS5101 3 units
    FAAS5102 (At least take 3 times) 9 units
    (b) Elective course 3 units
    Total: 15 units

     

    For students entering without a research master’s degree:

    Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 units of lecture courses in the pre-candidacy stage, completion of which will be part of the candidacy requirements.

    (a) Required courses
    FAAS5101 3 units
    FAAS5102 (At least take 3 times) 9 units
    (b) Elective courses 6 units
    Total: 18 units

     

    B. Art Practice

    For students entering with a research master’s degree:
    Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 units of lecture courses in the pre-candidacy stage, completion of which will be part of the candidacy requirements.

    (a) Required courses
    FAAS5101 3 units
    FAAS5102 3 units
    FAAS5201 3 units
    FAAS5202 3 units
    (b) Elective course 3 units
    Total: 15 units

     

    For students entering without a research master’s degree:

    Students are required to complete a minimum of 18 units of lecture courses in the pre-candidacy stage, completion of which will be part of the candidacy requirements. 

    (a) Required courses
    FAAS5101 3 units
    FAAS5102 3 units
    FAAS5201 3 units
    FAAS5202 3 units
    (b) Elective courses 6 units
    Total: 18 units


    In addition to the lecture courses listed above, students are required to register for Thesis Research courses each term.

     

    Candidacy Examination
    PhD students (pre-candidacy) should complete all required lecture courses or equivalent and pass a candidacy examination before they can be advanced to PhD candidate. Details of the candidacy examination are as follows:

     

    Areas of Examinations
    Paper 1: Connoisseurship and analysis of original works of art
    Paper 2: Written examination on specific issues of Chinese Art

     

    Attempts
    Students must pass both papers at the same time. A second attempt is allowed but it must be taken before the maximum period to pass candidacy exam.

     

    Thesis Proposal and Defence

    A. Art History

    PhD students (pre-candidacy) are required to submit a written thesis proposal, and present and defend the proposal orally.

    B. Art Practice

    PhD students (pre-candidacy) are required to submit a written thesis proposal, a body of artwork, and present and defend the proposal orally.

     

    Third Language Requirement
    Students are required to have the ability to read research materials in a third modern language other than Chinese and English. To demonstrate their proficiency for this purpose, they must pass a relevant language test set by the Division.

     

    Other Graduation Requirements:

    A. Art History

    – Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

    – Submit a research thesis.

    – Pass an oral examination for graduation.

     

    B. Art Practice

    – Achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

    – Submit a practice-based written thesis with a body of artwork that together make an original contribution to the field.

    – Hold a graduation exhibition in his/her area of study.

    – Pass both the creative project and written thesis.

    – Pass an oral examination for graduation.

  • 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 5113
      History of Chinese Court Painting

      3 Units

      This course traces the development of Chinese court painting from the Qin dynasty through the Qing dynasty. Each class will examine the production and transmission of court painting in light of key concepts in the discourse of Chinese art, which include but are not limited to: stylistic and technical features, political implication, imperial painting academy, genres in art, art patronage, and cross-cultural interactions.

    • 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 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 5310
      Chinese Painting and Calligraphy of the Twentieth Century

      3 Units

      This course traces the development of Chinese Painting and calligraphy in the twentieth century.  Major topics to be covered include the influence of foreign styles on Chinese painting and the localization of oil painting in the early twentieth century, the impact of politics on Chinese art making since 1949, as well as the new waves after the reform and opening-up of China, exploring in depth the ways of reform and modernization of Chinese painting and calligraphy in the new era.  Through the studies on major Chinese artists and their representative works, the course will provide insights into how the political, economic and social changes, different artistic environments, confrontation and exchange of Chinese and foreign cultures affect the artistic creations and ideas of Chinese painters and calligraphers in the past century.

    • FAAS 8003/8006/8012
      Thesis Research

      FAAS8003 Thesis Research (3 Units)

      In this course, a student is required to meet with his/her supervisor regularly who provides necessary guidance and supervision to write up a thesis and monitors the student’s academic progress.

      FAAS8006 Thesis Research (6 Units)

      In this course, a student is required to meet with his/her supervisor regularly who provides necessary guidance and supervision to write up a thesis and monitors the student’s academic progress.

      FAAS8012 Thesis Research (12 Units)

      In this course, a student is required to meet with his/her supervisor regularly who provides necessary guidance and supervision to write up a thesis and monitors the student’s academic progress.ogress.

  • Admission

    In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, applicants should:

     

    M.Phil. applicants (Art History Stream only):

    – submit a study plan (no less than 1000 words, written in English / Chinese).

    – attend an interview if shortlisted.

     

    Ph.D. applicants:

    A. Art History Stream

    – submit a research plan for PhD thesis (around 3000 words, written in English / Chinese).

    – submit a writing sample (no less than 5000 words, written in English / Chinese); OR Master’s thesis.

    – attend an interview if shortlisted.

     

    B. Art Practice Stream

    – submit a research plan for PhD thesis (around 3000 words, written in English / Chinese).

    – submit a writing sample (no less than 5000 words, written in English / Chinese); OR Master’s thesis.

    – submit a proper documentation of no more than 5 art projects or a portfolio of 15-20 images of original art works (in a SINGLE pdf file with file size not exceeding 5MB).

    – attend an interview if shortlisted.

     

    Application Procedure

    1. Submit Online Application Form (https://www.gs.cuhk.edu.hk/admissions/programme/arts#mphil-phd-in-chinese-art-subject-to-university-approval) and upload the following documents:

    (i) Copies of degree certificates

    (ii) Copies of transcripts (with grading scheme)

    (iii) Documents showing the applicant has fulfilled the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency Requirement

    (iv) Copies of Online Verification Report of Higher Education Qualification Certificate issued by the CHESICC*

    (v) Copies of identity card or passport

    (vi) Confidential Recommendations from TWO (Applicants are required to invite the referees to complete the Confidential Recommendations Report through the Online Application System)

    (vii) Additional documents required

    2. Arrange the following official documents to be sent directly by the university or the test organization to the office of Division of Fine Arts before the application deadline. (Please write the application number, the name of programme applied and name of applicant on the envelope.)

    (i) Official Transcripts from the university attended by applicants

    (ii) Original copy of English proficiency proof# (if needed)

     

    *Applicants who obtained degrees from universities in Mainland China are required to provide an Online Verification Report of Higher Education Qualification Certificate (教育部學歷證書電子註冊備案表) issued by the CHESICC (學信網) together with other supporting documents. Please refer to the official website of the CHESICC on the sample of the Online Verification Report of Higher Education Qualification Certificate at https://www.chsi.com.cn/xlcx/bgys.jsp.

    For TOFEL / IELTS, only the original valid official score report sent directly from the respective test organization to the Office of the Division of Fine Arts will be accepted. Original examinee’s score report will not be accepted.

  • Fees and Funding

    For details of the tuition fee and Postgraduate Studentships, please refer to the Graduate School website.

  • FAQ

    • If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and the Chinese version, the English version shall prevail.

    • 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.

    • What is the difference between the M.Phil. and the Ph.D. programmes?

      The M.Phil.-Ph.D. programme leads to either the M.Phil. (usually 2 years) or the Ph.D. (3 or 4 years). The course requirements of the first two years are almost identical. When you apply for admission, you need to specify which degree you are interested in.

    • How long is the normative study period of the Ph.D. programme?

      The length of the normative study period depends on the credentials that you enter with. The normative period (the period with Postgraduate Studentship PGS) for a Ph.D. is usually 3 or 4 years. This is determined at the time of admission. You can take a longer period to complete the degree, but the PGS awarding period will not be extended.

    • 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 .

    • 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.

  • Media Coverage