Jingsi Wang


jingsi wang dphil assoc





Jingsi Wang

DPhil candidate, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography 



Jingsi is a DPhil student in Anthropology at St Catherine’s College and is supervised by Prof. Clare Harris. She has previously worked at the Center for Visual Studies at Peking University and UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, where she conducted archival research, curated exhibitions and managed publishing projects. She is also a writer and translator, with her work featured in publications such as Contemporary Art Chinese Yearbook, Art Monthly, The Art Newspaper China and online platforms Sixth Tone and Qilu Criticism.

Jingsi currently holds an MPhil in Visual, Material and Museum Ethnography from the University of Oxford (Distinction), an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education at UCL (Distinction) and a BA in Film Studies with a double major in Chinese Literature at Peking University.  

DPhil topic

Driven by a consistent interest in the interrelation between the artworld and reality, Jingsi's DPhil topic revolves around contemporary art practice in non-urban settings, especially in rural China. In particular, it focuses on the emerging Art Fields (dadi yishujie, or ‘open-air art exhibitions’) in rural areas. These events involve the installation of site-specific artworks outdoors or in local houses across villages and collaboration with the villagers, which provide alternative ways for artists to create art, for visitors to explore the region, and for local governments to undertake endeavours for rural revitalisation. As the exhibition continues over a longer period, art becomes an integral part of the local landscape, transforming the village into ‘a roofless art museum’. 

Based on year-long fieldwork in villages of Guangdong and Jiangxi Province, this research aims to investigate the roles and agency of various parties involved in the making of an Art Field, and how their interplay reshapes our conventional understanding of the urban-grounded artworld. Meanwhile, it explores the ways in which art can reconfigure people’s experience of a specific place and participate in the process of place-making. Additionally, through long-term and repeated observation, it examines how art is socially engaged with and locally interpreted by the community in everyday life. Overall, this research aspires to incorporate a rural narrative as well as a temporal perspective when considering the production, distribution, perception and maintenance of art within the anthropological discourse.