Creativity ClassArt School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China

Creativity ClassArt School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China

Lily Chumley

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780691164977

Publisher: Princeton University Press


The last three decades have seen a massive expansion of China's visual culture industries, from architecture and graphic design to fine art and fashion. New ideologies of creativity and creative practices have reshaped the training of a new generation of art school graduates. This is the first book to explore how Chinese art students develop, embody, and promote their own personalities and styles as they move from art school entrance test preparation, to art school, to work in the country's burgeoning culture industries. The book shows the connections between this creative explosion and the Chinese government's explicit goal of cultivating creative human capital in a new “market socialist” economy where value is produced through innovation. Drawing on years of fieldwork in China's leading art academies and art test prep schools, the book combines ethnography and oral history with analyses of contemporary avant-garde and official art, popular media, and propaganda. Examining the rise of a Chinese artistic vanguard and creative knowledge-based economy, the book sheds light on an important facet of today's China.