Wenny Teo


  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom

  • 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
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Personal profile


Wenny Teo (张温惠) received a BA in History of Art and English Literature from the University of York (2003), and a MA (2004) and PhD (2011) in History of Art from University College London. Her doctoral thesis, ‘One World, One Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art and Spectacle’, supervised by Professor Briony Fer, examined the highly ambivalent relationship between contemporary Chinese art and spectacle from China’s ‘open door’ reforms in 1978 to the historical watershed of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Her research currently centres on socially engaged and participatory East and Southeast Asian art, subversive practices, geopolitics, language art and online visual culture.

Prior to joining The Courtauld as the Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art in 2012, she worked as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and as curatorial assistant at Tate Modern. In 2014, she was an associate curator of We Have Never Participated – the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, and is currently co-curating an exhibition of newly commissioned Chinese outdoor installations at Cass Sculpture Foundation.

Research interests

  • East and Southeast Asian art and politics
  • Soft power
  • (Post)internet art
  • Humour
  • Biopolitics
  • Subversion
  • Spectacle
  • Historiography
  • Critical theory
  • Semiotics


  • BA History of Art Year 1: The Global Contemporary
  • BA History of Art Year 3: Contemporary Art in China
  • MA History of Art: (Re)Made in China – Appropriation, Subversion, Transformation (1978 to now)


  • AHRC Networking Grant –Digital Dissent in Asian Art and Visual Culture (in development).
  • Collaborative doctoral award with Tate Modern – ‘New Media Art Histories in Asia’, beginning Autumn 2016.

PhD Students


  • Jessie Robertson, ‘Documenting Socially and Politically Engaged Art in the Digital Age’


  • A Beautiful Disorder: Contemporary Chinese Art at Cass Sculpture Foundation, 2016 (co-curator). An exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculptures by Greater Chinese artists.
  • A Wall, 2015 (co-curator). An online project by Zheng Bo. Commissioned by The Space (BBC and Arts Council England), Cass Sculpture Foundation and British Council China.
  • We Have Never Participated: The 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, 2014 (associate curator). OCAT, Shenzhen, China.
  • The Art of Change: New Directions from China, 2012 (contributor). Hayward Gallery, London.

Other Ongoing Activities

  • Member of Editorial board of The Oxford Art Journal
  • Member of Advisory board of Art Review Asia
  • Member of Advisory board of The Journal of Contemporary Chinese Culture
  • Member of Advisory board of The Journal of Art Historiography

Education/Academic qualification

City University of London

… → 2014

University College, London

… → 2011

University College, London

… → 2004

University of York

… → 2003

External positions

Tate Modern


The Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai


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  • 4 Similar Profiles
Asian Art Arts & Humanities
Southeast Arts & Humanities
Historiography Arts & Humanities
Biopolitics Arts & Humanities
Subversion Arts & Humanities
Critical Theory Arts & Humanities
Soft Power Arts & Humanities
Art and Politics Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2010 2017

‘The Elephant in the Church: Ai Weiwei, the Media Circus and the Global Canon'

Teo, W., Jan 2017, Re-envisioning the Contemporary Art Canon: Perspectives in a Global World. Iskin, R. (ed.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

‘Image Through Text'

Teo, W., Sep 1 2016, Sun Chan [Exhibition Catalogue]. 3030 Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

‘The ‘pleasing', ‘terrible’ and ‘surprising’: Reimagining the Chinese garden in the global contemporary'

Teo, W., Hindle, C., Liao, E. & Shea, C., Aug 2016, (Accepted/In press) Beautiful Disorder: Contemporary Chinese Art at Cass Sculpture Foundation. Hatje Cantz Publishers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

‘Emerging from Ai Weiwei’s Shadow: China’s New Art’

Teo, W., Sep 2015, The Art Newspaper.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access

‘Lee Ufan’

Teo, W., 2015, In : Art Review Asia.

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

Open Access