Wenny Teo


  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom

  • 2 Citations
  • 1 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Wenny Teo (张温惠) is an art historian and curator. Originally from Singapore, she received a BA in History of Art and English Literature from the University of York, and a MA and PhD in History of Art from University College London. Her doctoral thesis, One World, One Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art and Spectacle 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 current book project builds on this body of research but centres on the new generation of contemporary Chinese artists born after 1978, particularly focusing on China’s geopolitical rise and questions of labour, humour, boredom, diaspora, post-Internet and online visual culture. Prior to joining The Courtauld Institute of Art as the Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art, she worked in various curatorial roles in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, and at Tate Modern, London and has continued to work on various curatorial projects internationally. In 2014 she was associate curator of We Have Never Participated – The 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, and in 2016 she co-curated A Beautiful Disorder, an exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor installations by contemporary Chinese artists at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Chichester. Her writing has been published in various academic journals, catalogue essays and art magazines. She has guest edited issues of the Journal of Art Historiography and the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and is on the editorial board of Oxford Art Journal

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 2: Mapping Contemporary Asian Art 
  • BA History of Art Year 3: Body, Space and Power in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art
  • MA History of Art: Global China: Contemporary Chinese art and geopolitics  (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


  • Andrew Cummings
  • Sophie Xiaofei Guo


  • 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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Research Output

Cao Fei 'A hollow in a world too full'

Teo, W., Mar 2019, Art Review Asia.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

Cui Jie, 'The Peak Tower'

Teo, W., Sep 2019, Burlington Magazine.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

Cui Jie 'The Peak Tower'

Teo, W., Sep 2019

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Howl, China! The geopolitics of gibberish in Cheng Ran's 'Diary of a Madman' (2016)

Teo, W., Aug 2019, (Submitted) In : Oxford Art Journal.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

It's not funny: Making sense of humour in contemporary Chinese art

Teo, W., Dec 2019, (Accepted/In press) Humour in Contemporary Art: Between the Local and the Global . Gieskes, M. & Schulenberg, A. (eds.). Bloomsbury Publishing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter