Qingying Liu

Disappearance Series

video, 2020

In the face of the Covid-19 that is sweeping the world, cleaning has become a must-do every day. Disinfection water, Gloves, Masks, Paper towels, and so on are necessary items used to clean. When we quarantine at home, we can see the world through the window. So I used these to do my practice on the window.

From lockdown stay at home to lockdown measures eased and the government suggesting to eat out. My cleaning work has been accompanied by my activities. I have been recording my cleaning work when I stay at home during the quarantine period, to cleaning when I going to a friend’s house after lockdown measures eased, and to cleaning when I eat out.

My practice work is a series of videos titled Disappearance. It included seven short videos in a style of black and white images that is looked at the city through the window and disinfected it. In the end, as the hand wipes the window, the city is disappeared. Each video all same wiping techniques because I want to focus on different shooting places and the end result is disappeared. I want to express my views on Covid-19 through this work. If we didn’t take any measures to combat this virus, then the city may be defeated by the virus and disappeared.

Disappearance Series1, 2020, video, 2’56‘’

Disappearance Series2, 2020, video, 2’56‘’

Disappearance Series3, 2020, video, 2’56‘’

Disappearance Series4, 2020, video, 2’57‘’

Disappearance Series5, 2020, video, 2’57‘’

Disappearance Series6, 2020, video, 2’57‘’

Disappearance Series7, 2020, video, 2’57‘’


My course is MA Contemporary Arts China (MACAC) at BCU, my undergraduate and graduate major is environmental art design in China, and the main research is landscape design. My study MACAC at BCU is also an experience of interdisciplinary study. I mainly create through video art, use images to explore art in life, to record contemporary urban changes and discover problems in the city, and to think about the environment in the entire city. Reflecting on the appearance of urban at present, learning of Contemporary Art made me understand the contemporary urban from a different perspective and gained more insights.




Contemporary Arts China

Dandan Xu

In-Between Series, 2020, installation

In-Between Series


In-Between Series expresses the sense of distance between people, between two countries, and between the surface of the body and the heart. This series uses a brush and a bottle of ink as the connecting objects, which are transferred layer by layer. Participants will write down the names of the people they miss during the lockdown on their skins and use videos to record behaviors to reduce the distance between people during infectious diseases. Combining the concept of the city, the private space and the public space are combined to present the relationship between people and public space to the audience.

In-Between Series1

Video, 4’45”, 2020

In-Between Series2

Video, 0’35”, 2020

In-Between Series3

Video, 8’25”, 2020

In-Between Series4

Video, 5’05”, 2020

In-Between Series5

Video, 2’57”, 2020

In-Between Series6

Video, 1’13”, 2020

In-Between Series7

Video, 5’00”, 2020

In-Between Series8

Video, 17’57”, 2020


Xu Dandan is an artist who recently explored the role of skin as a subject and medium in contemporary art. As well as the relationship between the body and public space. Through these elements, the audience feels a sense of strangeness and distance. This strangeness comes from the potential relationship between private space and public space, the transformation of the known and the unknown.

The major project is based on practice and uses video recording behavior as a response method to COVID-19. Participants included some people isolated in the UK, including herself. Even in harsh environments, short-term joy usually comes from artistic and collective expression. The coronavirus will change the way we work and study. However, this will not eliminate the body’s desire for public space.





Contemporary Arts China

Yushan Su

Birmingham Chinatown Brand Design and Wayfinding Design


07/2020 Birmingham Chinatown Photographer Yushan Su

Designer Personal Website please see here: https://ysu398.wixsite.com/yushan

My major project focus on design a visual identity system and a guide icon system. At the same time, I will think about two specific problems, how to create graphic memory for the target audience? And Does continuous graphics is a good way to spread the brand image? I trying to use filed work, photography, drawing, software and reference review as methodology which help me understand the characteristics of Birmingham Chinatown.

The logo inspired by Birmingham Selfridges and Chinese chopsticks and I use red and black as the main colours. I chose IMPACT typography as the English character, Black Body – Simple typography as the Chinese character. Because they give the audience a strong visual effect and a sense of weight so that the audience can be better impressed with the logo.

Birmingham Chinatown Brand Design
Birmingham Chinatown Brand Support Graphics
07/2020 Birmingham Chinatown Photography Yushan Su

Suixin Zhang

“Obviously, the theme is nature.

We are human beings, and nature has slipped away from us, er have become estranged from it.

We have methods for approaching it, for bridging the gap, for trying to understand nature.

One such method is science.

It asks questions and answers them with names and models.

However, it can only answer the questions which have been formulated.

But where questions can no longer be formulated and answers are nonetheless given, we are in the domain of art. 

– Paul-Armand Gette. <Transplant>

Project: Planting the City

-“Planting the city” is a hypothetic scenario that I have explored through practice-based research that aims to imagine a possible world where man-made objects or things have life of their own. It originates from my personal understanding and observation of the changes between the city and nature:

Within an imaginary city, buildings would then breath, feel, grow and die in the same way as other living things such as plants or trees.

-The project is going to divide into three parts. 

In the first part, I will create a “planting space” based on plant propagator (a covered, typically container filled with earth or compost, used for germinating or raising seedlings). In the second part, I will record the “growth process” of these small buildings in the form of photos and observation diaries (Pseudoscience record).

Third part: I shall walk in Birmingham to look for illegally growing green belts and plant urban bricks. Moreover, I will collect the elements affecting urban growth such as air, soil, and the plants in these environments through 100 self-made planting city record sheets. In the form of metaphor, I endeavour to imagine how the planting city grows.

Part1. – Building area (Installation), 2020
Part2. – Recording (Excerpts), 2020

Part3. – Recording Sheet (Excerpts), 2020

-The size of recording sheets( 10cm x 8cm) is to allow the audience to paste these records in any corner they want in the physical display room after finishing watching. I strongly encourage them to do so, since this action exactly corresponds to my planting behavior in the city of Birmingham. At the same time, the audience can be better encouraged to participate in the atmosphere created by the artwork.

Suixin Zhang

Zhang Suixin is an artist who expresses her attitude by exploring the contrast between different materials. Plants, paper and the practice of Chinese painting are the main elements of her works.

Those works generally focus on the fundamental question that affect normal life, such as natural decline, urban construction, and cultural conflicts. Besides, she also good at using tiny, unique personal narration to reshape these grandiose themes.





Contemporary Arts China

Cong Wu

She is thinking of her cat, 2020, two-channel video (color, sound), 03’48”.

Fancy a call later tonight?, 2020, video (B&W, sound), 4’14”.

The sun rises, and the sun sets, 2020, video(color, sound), 02’56”.


Cong Wu is a visual artist whose works concentrate on the purely spiritual experience generated within alternations, that is, a kind of unspeakable, specific spiritual status producing a ‘mental jump’ which leads the audiences to a point beyond their rational thinking and the limit of our knowledge.

His two-channel video work She is thinking of her cat focuses on the inherent ambivalence and the eternal conflict within one’s inside world. In this work, the image of a hand appears accompanied by a knocking sound but soon fades away, suggesting a permanent loss, an enigmatic whilst immanent void or emptiness in our internal world: If the hand’s action symbolizes the illusion and impulse of those seemly attainable desires, the fading of the image of the hand implicitly breaks the unachievable illusion above. The video plays on a loop in which there is no such thing as a beginning, climax, or end, which implies humanity’s endless yet fragile relationship with reality.

Fancy a call later tonight? explores how a dramatically shifted external world impacts one’s internal world and thus evokes a sense of confusion, shock, hesitation, and awe beyond the realm of reason. It reflects the complex whilst subtle true experience of a Chinese lady living in Birmingham, UK under the effect of city lockdown. The text in the video is collected from her chat records with others (friends, strangers, relatives) on social media where the audience can view many kinds of opinions on her, even including sexual allusions and offensive messages. 

In The sun rises, and the sun sets which is a sentence extracted from the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 1:5, several scenes of normal behaviours such as eating and sleeping are abstracted to uncanny elements in a melancholic tone. This work seeks a way of alternating the experience of universal human behavior into a transcendent status beyond the boundary of everyday thinking. What the audience experiences is a mysterious, sublime moment that engenders a disruption of our cognitive capacity dismantling the sense of the continuity of time, thus prompting a contemplation within the audience in which they can reintegrate the existing frame of meaning.

For more information about Cong Wu’s work, please view his website here.



Artist Website


Contemporary Arts China

Cheng Fan


My reflective thinking of Major project (sketchbook): https://amycyber.design.blog


She is a researcher of contemporary art theory and criticism. She has devoted herself to contemporary art writing from the undergraduate period. She pays particular attention to the intersection of avant-garde art and social issues, including gender studies and socially engaged art.





Contemporary Arts China

Wenyi Ma

Merry-go-round series

2020. Five-channel video installation with three projectors, wooden board, 1023 x 300 x 40cm.

Tension is the subject of my research. On the one hand, I concentrate on the tension in the physical world: Subtle tension grows in the conflicts and comparisons within the physical movements by the form of a multi-screen where the audience can rotate around the work and watch all the videos. In my expectation of the exhibition, the viewers can gaze at the ephemeral movement and slight changes in the balloons in several screens.

On the other hand, my focus on the physical tension has gradually moved to the tension within the language of image and video art themselves. For me, image and video are more than just a tool for recording objectively. For example, I juxtaposed two videos in which two balloons move in different periods, and evokes an effect that the two balloons seem to encounter when the audience view the two videos together, and evokes an effect created by viewing the videos together. Thus this intriguing combination of these videos makes themselves generates a wonderful and subtle tension. Based on that, in the Merry-go-round series, I pay particular attention to the interactive effects caused by the combination of videos.


2020. Video, color, sound. 24’44”.


2020. Video, color, silent. 39’17”.


Artist website



Contemporary Arts China

Jiayi Xu

Personal website: http://jiayiiiiiii.wixsite.com/mysite

14 Days

This is one of 14 panoramas I created and shot.I also made a video of the 14 panoramas. Video available at:

In the wake of the COVID-19 scare, China is tightening its aviation policies. International students will also have to accept higher fares in cases that are almost equivalent to losing their flights.The mood among international students has almost collapsed, and the comments of the forum of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China is full of criticism. So I tackle the diverse experiences of Chinese students during lockdown in the UK. The work is entitled “14 Days” (14 days in isolation becomes an indicator for COVID-19 surveillance), a direct reference to the quarantine period in which the student has undertaken a personal and collective diary written onto the walls of my student dormitory in Birmingham.

The work investigates the idea of confined space, transferring my practice onto my surrounding walls, demonstrating how creativity has been adapted during the pandemic. Through this work, I hopes that calligraphy can have a direct contact with life and society.

Written record available at: http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1ch411o7JP/ http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1Hf4y1Q7Wi/ http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1hv411i7Zd/ http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV17i4y1g7nX/ http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1C64y1c7Xy/ http://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1aD4y127sE/

Character Doubt

A work that explores the literal meaning of “Modern Calligraphy”


Contemporary Art China is my second master’s degree, and I am also studying for another major of calligraphy and in China. I have always been interested in contemporary art, and I think calligraphy, as one of the characteristics of China, must be a unique style to be integrated into contemporary art. During this year, I have also been exploring the relationship between traditional and modern calligraphy.


jiayi xu@mail.bcu.ac.uk


Contemporary Arts China

Jia Song

We Are Fighters, 02’11”, 2020, video (color, sound)

We Are Fighters, 02’11”, 2020, video (color, sound)

We Are Fighters, 02’11”, 2020, video (color, sound)


I am Jia Song, I graduated from China Academy of Art and East China Normal University in China, and now I am studying for my second master’s degree at Birmingham City University.

Because of the Coronavirus, people stayed at home to fight against it. During the lockdown, there was a “Black Lives Matter “ protest held in Birmingham. I thus clipped the scenes of Birmingham city and the protest together. And I extracted Boris Johnson’s original words in the speech to the beginning of the video. I hope when you see my work, you will not only think about the pandemic, but also human rights and equality.




Contemporary Arts China