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China Academy of Art Introduction


The China Academy of Art is the first comprehensive national higher education institution of art, and originally directly administrated by Superior College of the Republic of China(中华民国大学院), which is equivalent to today’s Ministry of Education, and nowadays, it is co-established by Ministry of Culture and Zhejiang Provincial Government. China Academy of Art is a quite famous university for art in China, and also has the most complete range of degree offerings and programs of study in fine arts in China. There are eight schools under its jurisdiction offering Ph.D., master and bachelor’s degrees in fine arts, design, architecture, multi-media and film. The Academy encourages diversity in thinking, art exploration and academy research. It takes as its motto “diversity in harmony” and fosters an environment for innovation. By the way, it is also the earliest higher education offering the major of design.

This is a building on campus of China Academy of Art designed by Wang Shu (王澍), the winner of the Pritzker prize

The History of China Academy of Art

The original of China Academy of Art is the National Art College established by Cai Yuanpei(蔡元培), who was the great educationist in modern times and the most outstanding president of Peking University. It was the first highest artistic education institution highlighted with the bachelor and graduate’s diploma education in modern China, and also the only China’s artistic university offering the educational diplomas acknowledged by UNESCO. It targets for spreading the national culture, unifying the China-west art and creating the modern art. The first president was Lin Fengmian(林风眠), and the successors were Teng Gu(滕固), Lv Fengzi(吕凤子), Chen Zhifo(陈之佛), Pan Tianshou(潘天寿), Wang Rizhang(汪日章), Liu Kaiqu(刘开渠), Mo Pu(莫朴), Xiao Feng(肖锋), Pan Gongkai(潘公凯) and Xu Jiang(许江). In its 82 years of history, the name was changed for five times. In 1928, it was National College of Art. In 1929, it was National Hangzhou Art School. In 1938, it was National Art School. In 1950, it was the East China’s Branch of China Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1958, it was Zhejiang Academy of Art, and finally firmed up to be the China Academy of Art in 1993.

In the history of China Academy of Art, there were a great number of famous artists studying or teaching over here, and the typical representatives were Lin Fengmian(林风眠), Pan Tianshou(潘天寿), Huang Binghong(黄宾虹), Liu Kaiqu(刘开渠), Wu Dayu(吴大羽), Yan Wenliang(颜文梁), Ni Yide(倪贻德), Li Kuchan(李苦禅), Li Keran(李可染), Ai Qing(艾青), Chen Zhifo(陈之佛), Pang Xiongqin(庞薰琹), Lei Guiyuan(雷圭元), Xiao Chuanjiu(萧传玖), Guan Liang(关良), Huang Junbi(黄君碧), Chang Shuhong(常书鸿), Dong Xiwen(董希文), Wang Shilang(王式廓), Wang Chaowen(王朝闻), Li Lincan(李霖灿), Deng Bai(邓白), Wu Guanzhong(吴冠中), Zhao Wuji(赵无极), Zhu Dequn(朱德群), Luo Gongliu(罗工柳) and Zhang Baoling(张宝玲)

This is the main gate of Nanshan Road Campus of China Academy of Art on the side of West Lake

The Structure and Students of China Academy of Art

The main faculties and colleges include College of Sculpture and College of Design. College of Sculpture includes Chinese Painting Faculty, Calligraphy Faculty, Oil Painting Faculty, Prints Faculty, Sculpture Faculty, Design Base Department, Comprehensive Art Faculty, New Media Art Faculty and Artist History Faculty. College of Design includes Audio-visual Communications Faculty, Industrial Design Faculty, Ceramic Art Faculty, Dyeing and Costume Design Faculty, Environmental Art Faculty, Architecture Faculty and Base Department of Design. And there are other colleges like International Education College, Public Art College, Media and Animation College, Design and Art College in Shanghai, Further Education College, and the vocational and technical college of art and design.

There are currently 7000 undergraduate and graduate students in four campuses with a faculty and staff of 800. The administration of the Academy is headquartered in the Nanshan campus, which is located right on the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou. There other regional campuses are the Xiangshan Campus, which became the main campus in 2008, the Binjiang Campus, and the Zhangjiang Campus, which is strategically located in Shanghai. In our eleventh five-year plan, the undergraduate student population will grow to 6,600 with a graduate student body of 800, making it one of the biggest fine art institutions in the world.

Undergraduate students typically spend one year in general education courses in the Department of Foundation and then three years in the core courses of their particular majors. Graduate courses are typically three years long and include extensive experience in the studio and research with mentoring faculty. Foreign students can take short-term or long-term courses in Chinese art, language and culture in the Institute of International Education.

At present, China Academy of Art is the only counterpart of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, which is largely supported by central government, but China Academy of Art is more famous in the international community, especially the winner of the Pritzker prize, whose name is Wang Shu, a professor of China Academy of Art, makes this university internationally influential. And his great masterpiece is Xiangshan Campus, and in his mind, the great city like New York was not designed by architects, it was designed by time.

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