Meiqin Wang

meiqin pic
Associate Professor
(818) 677-3027
Office location:
SG 227


Associate Professor, 2007

Academic website:

B.A. 1998, Fujian Teachers University (福建师范大学), Fujian, China 
M.A. 2002, China Academy of Arts (中国艺术研究院), Beijing, China
Ph.D. 2007, State University of New York at Binghamton

Meiqin Wang is a professor at California State University Northridge and an art historian living and working in Southern California. She originated from China where she received a B.A. in art education and M.A. in art history. She continued studying art history and obtained her Ph.D. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. As a faculty member of the Art Department, she teaches Asian art courses that cover historical and contemporary arts from the vast continent.

While at Binghamton, she developed a strong interest in contemporary Chinese art at a time when it had yet to become a serious subject of academic research. She has since focused on writing about the recent developments of art from China and their sociopolitical, cultural, and institutional implications in the context of commercialization, urbanization and globalization of the Chinese world. Her peer-reviewed journal articles, catalogue and blog essays, and conference presentations explore the significance of artworks from individual artists as well as the new artistic trends emerging in a country that has seen unprecedented economic developments and social transformations since the 1990s. Her recent research monograph Urbanization and Contemporary Chinese Art

(Routledge Advances in Art and Visual Studies series, 2016) employs an interdisciplinary approach that crosses over art history, urban china studies, and urban cultural studies as it brings to light the provocative responses of a number of critical-minded artists to various processes and byproducts of Chinese urbanization. Related, she also co-edited a book entitled Visual Arts, Representations and Interventions in Contemporary China (Amsterdam University Press Asian Cities series, 2018)

Meanwhile, she has begun writing about socially engaged Chinese art in relation to the emerging bottom-up cultural activism among art communities in the country, exploring its potential as a critical and creative response to the many downsides of China’s top-down, pro-urban, and profit-driven socioeconomic transformations. She has published a number of journal articles on the subject, including “The socially engaged practices of artists in contemporary China,” “Place-making for the people: Socially engaged art in rural China,” “Power, capital, and artistic freedom: contemporary Chinese art communities and the city,” and “Village Transformed: Jin Le and Community Development through Contemporary Art.” Currently she is completing a book entitled Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China: Voices from Below. Socially engaged art is a topic that she sees herself devoted to for the coming years and her future research will likely continue to focus on it.


Selective publications:
Voice from Below: Socially Engaged Art in Contemporary China (Routledge, forthcoming).
Urbanization and Contemporary Chinese Art (New York: Routledge, 2016). 

Edited book and journal special issue:
Co-editor: Visual Arts, Representations and Interventions in Contemporary China: Urbanized Interface. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018.
Co-editor: a special issue on Visual Arts and Urbanization,China Information vol. 29, no. 2  (2015).

“Village Transformed: Jin Le and Community Development through Art.” Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, 2018.
“Power, Capital, and Artistic Freedom: Contemporary Chinese Art Communities and the City.” Cultural Studies, 2018.
“Place-Making for the People: Socially Engaged Art in Rural China.” China Information, vol. 32 (2) (2018): 244–269.
“Entering the Scene: On Socially Engaged Art.” Bishan 10 (2017): 194-197.
“Waste in contemporary Chinese art.” The Newsletter-International Institute for Asian Studies, no.76 (2017): 32-33.
“The Socially Engaged Practices of Artists in Contemporary China.” Journal of Visual Art Practice, vol. 16, iss. 1 (2017): 15-38.
“Urbanization and Its Artistic Discontent: Yang Yongliang’s Urban Dystopia.” University of Nottingham Blogs / China Policy Institute Blog, July 6, 2016.
“Urbanized Interfaces: Chinese Visual Arts In The Age Of Urbanization.” Asia Pacific Memo 346, November 2, 1015.  (co-authored with Minna Valjakka)
“Advertising the Chinese Dream: Urban Billboards and Ni Weihua’s Documentary Photography.” China Information vol. 29, no. 2 (2015): 176-201.
“Urbanized interfaces: Visual arts in Chinese cities.” China Information vol. 29, no. 2 (2015): 139-153 (co-authored with Minna Valjakka)
“Invisible Body and the Predicaments of Existence In An Urbanizing China.” Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44, no. 1 (2015): 163-197.
“The Primitive and Unproductive Body: He Yunchang and His Performance Art.” Yishu-Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, vol. 13, no. 4 (2014): 6-25.
“To Demolish: Thinking About Urbanization in China Through a Collaborative Art Project in the Countryside.” Yishu-Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, vol. 11, no. 4 (2012): 30-42.
“Art, Culture Industry and the Transformation of Songzhuang Artist Village.” The International Journal of the Arts in Society, vol. 5, no. 1 (2010): 187-205.