China Art Foundation

Aims and Ambitions

The Foundation was set up in 2008. Its aims are to help ensure that the intense global interest in contemporary Chinese art and culture has a sustainable future, and to help increase two–way knowledge and understanding between China and the rest of the world, in the arena of art and culture.


Zhang Huan: In the Ashes of History – Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg – 2020

posted 17:35 - 21.09.20

The impulse behind the setting up of the Foundation was the common recognition that the unprecedented transformation through which China is passing raises cultural issues for China and for the rest of the world. For China, the pace and nature of change throws up particular opportunities and dangers, not least the pressing issue; in which ways China will remain Chinese and in which ways it will go global. At the same time, Europe and the US are faced with the complex question of how to integrate knowledge of China’s past and present into their own received stories.

— In the light of this situation, the Foundation wishes to:

  • Help nurture within China, Europe and the US, and especially within the contemporary cultural community – understood in its widest sense to include practitioners, educators, critics and museum professionals – knowledge about the history of Chinese traditions of art and culture
  • Internationalise knowledge, to ensure that the west has oportunities to understand the extraordinary and complex history of Chinese culture; and that China has access to the culture, historical and contemporary, of the west and to the knowledge that can make it comprehensible
  • Provide a forum in which western and Chinese museum professionals can interrogate issues of shared concern and develop shared understandings, in regular informal settings
  • Identify and help to nurture the skill–base which will be needed to sustain museums and educational institutions, both in the west and in China, in a rapidly changing and increasingly globalised world
  • Provide opportunities for practising artists in all fields, in China and the west, to explore each other’s cultures and traditions