Vivian

  • From: Beijing, China
  • Studying: PhD in History of Art (full-time)
  • Funding: Departmental Overseas doctoral studentship
  • Supervision: Dr Jo Applin

What are your research interests / what are you working on?

"Modern and contemporary sculpture and installation art; contemporary feminist theories; globalization and international travel in the art world. More specifically: Female Artists’ Fantasy of ‘Homemaking’ in the World: Mona Hatoum, Yin Xiuzhen, and Nikki S Lee."

What has been the most fascinating part of your research so far, and why?

"Interdisciplinary approach. I have an academic background in culture studies; in terms of my specific research interest in transnational artworks made by female artists, who originally come from Asia, but currently work as ‘global artists’ in the world, I need to find a balance between social and cultural theories I apply and the artworks themselves."

What background do you come to your PhD from and what made you choose your research area?

"I am an international student living in the U.K. for nearly five years. I quite enjoy my experience gained from working in a foreign academic environment. My transnational and transcultural experience play a significant role in my current research."

Why York rather than somewhere else?

"York is the first city I encountered, when I came to U.K. in 2008. I do not know why, but it is really different for me!"

How has your experience at York broadened your horizons as an art historian?

"Yes, especially in respect of object-based research."

Do you find there’s a strong group atmosphere among the students?

"Yes, I quite enjoy the atmosphere at York and want to get more involved in different academic events and workshops, such as those organized by Centre for Modern Studies."

Have you undertaken any interesting research trips?

"Yes, a trip to Groningen for the solo exhibition of the artist I am studying. In my MA time, I also got a small grant for my research visit to Barcelona for Mona Hatoum’s exhibition last year."

Are you involved in any society or community-based activity in York outside your studies?

"I get involved with some activities organized by internationals student community."

What do you feel is the most important thing you will take away from your experience at York?

"A sincere attitude towards my research and a network of fellow PhD students"

Do you have an idea of how you’ll use your PhD/plans for the future?

"I do not quite have a clear idea, but I would prefer to stay in the academic field, either in China or in the West."

What would your dream job be?

"A curator as well as a lecturer."