Dr Ros Holmes

Presidential Academic Fellow in the History of Chinese Art

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Prior to joining the department at Manchester, Ros was Departmental Lecturer in Chinese Art at the University of Oxford and undertook a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford. She completed her DPhil and M. St in History of Art at the University of Oxford and holds a BA in Chinese and History of Art/Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). 

Her research focuses on the art of twentieth century and contemporary China with a special interest in online visual culture. She is particularly interested in the interaction between high and low, popular and elite forms of cultural production in China. Additional research interests include the circulation and consumption of state produced rhetoric and imagery, satire and subversion, soft power and biopolitics. She is currently completing her first book, provisionally entitled The Art of Incivility in Contemporary China. The first sustained investigation of how civility (and its counter image) have been visualised in China, the book challenges long term assumptions about China’s cultural landscape from the reform period to the present. Her current research project builds on one aspect of this study, exploring China’s online culture and the defining role that image making is coming to assume within this sphere. Revealing the existence of a creative, humorous, but also socially and politically critical ‘China online,’ which frequently locates itself outside of the intellectual discourse surrounding state censorship and contemporary art, the project explores aspects of visual culture at the forefront of modern and contemporary encounters between China and the wider world. 

Ros’s articles and reviews have appeared in ARTMarginsThe China JournalOxford Art Journal and The China Quarterly and she currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Chinese Contemporary Art (JCCA). In 2019 she co-curated the exhibition Chinternet Ugly at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in Manchester.

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