HKUB10131U Contemporary Art

Volume 2024/2025

The course provides insight into contemporary art, its tendencies and its diverse cultural and artistic expressions, as well as the role it plays in societies today. Starting with an overview of modernism, and charting ruptures between modernism and postmodernism, along with shifts towards dematerialized, performance-based and politically-engaged artistic practices, the course reviews the most important themes of the last 60 years of art and will consider the impact of the recent crises of the Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter on the art world. Contemporary art’s inclination to defy easy categorization, its various materializations and institutional frameworks, as well as its relation to contemporary visual culture and architecture, will be used as the basis for critical studies of the core issues of art and art historical practice. Through written exercises, as well as group work and discussions, students examine works of art and their cultural circumstances, with the goal of recognizing, understanding, and discussing various art forms in their broader contexts. Besides the main focus on contemporary art, the course also includes seminars on contemporary architecture and an introductory seminar to the wider field of visual culture.

The course alternates between lectures, discussions, group work, excursions to museums or other art institutions, student exercises, written assignments, and feedback
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 65
  • Preparation
  • 270
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Exam
  • 84
  • Total
  • 420
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Exam registration requirements

The exam consists of a portfolio of several written assignments, set for the students to complete according to specific deadlines during the course. Students receive feedback on the assignments during the semester, either in the form of individual/collective feedback from the lecturer and/or peer feedback. The final portfolio consists of the total set of assignments (11-15 pages), and provides students with the opportunity to incorporate any feedback. Therefore, in addition to general preparation, such as reading, students’ must allocate time for coursework within specified deadlines.