Art Museums in China’s Urban Regeneration

Lin, Nuo (2021) Art Museums in China’s Urban Regeneration. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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In China, the proliferation of private art museums has been closely tied to real estate development led by extensive urban regeneration. Cities have experienced rapid and extensive urbanisation since the Reform and Opening-up (gaige kaifang) initiated in 1978, and the ambitious cities have been transforming themselves into cultural capitals by setting up private art museums. In China, art museums built by real estate developers constitute a vital part of the private art museum boom in terms of quantity, effectiveness and sustainability. This type of art museum has played an essential role in the development of China’s contemporary art scene. As the main participants, property developers regard art museums as an art sponsorship strategy able to face the emerging cultural demands of customers.

This kind of art museum has very distinctive Chinese characteristics; it is a specific cultural outcome of the guidance sustaining China’s current economic status and political policy while the country’s urbanisation is directed by real estate development. First, all of the museums discussed are led by entrepreneurs rather than bureaucrats and are more liberal, adventurous and efficient than bureaucracies in moving towards globalisation. Second, as an outcome of urban regeneration, this type of art museum began under China’s social background, which has brought about a unique operational mechanism that is significantly different from those of other counties.

This research examines the creation and operation of private art museums established by real estate development in the process of culture-led urban regeneration from 2002 onwards. Not only does the research focus on the institutional characteristics of the symbiosis between real estate and private art museums within four case studies, examining how they operate in a variety of ways, it also explores the interactive logic and impact of their operation in the context of urban regeneration. In contrast to existing work on private art museums in China based on insufficient research into the Chinese context, this research concentrates on a specific type of art museums rather than on a general discussion of private art museums.

This thesis suggests that tapping into an intimate view of the boom in real estate development art museums requires a deeper understanding of the context of China’s urban regeneration. Furthermore, the culture-led urban regeneration strategy found in the research has outlined the concept of real estate developers co-creating art museums with the Chinese government for developing and reviving the regional economy. This thesis recommends a new way of art sponsorship between real estate businesses and art museums. Real estate-driven art museums that have been established, operated and sustained encompass architecture innovation, knowledge production, education and social engagement for a broader audience.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
17 February 2021Completed
Uncontrolled Keywords: Museum studies; Art Museum; Private Art Museum
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-04 - languages and area studies > CAH19-04-06 - Asian studies
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-02 - art
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts > Birmingham School of Art
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2021 20:37
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:50

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