In the past few years, the China Academy of Art (CAA) has lead the way in studies of new media in the field of contemporary art practice, all to tremendous, international acclaim. In 2003, the Departments of New Media Art, Experimental Art and the Curatorial Studies Department were established, working pivotally not only to push forward the development of Chinese contemporary art, but to open a new chapter for contemporary art education in China.

The CAA’s aim in establishing SIMA lay in further promoting the research and tuition of Chinese contemporary art, its being composed of what were formerly the Academy’s Departments of New Media Art, Experimental Art and Curatorial Studies. China’s first school of purely experimental art, SIMA’s mission lies in fully optimising the pedagogy of contemporary art whilst promoting interdisciplinary research and practice in this remit. As an interdisciplinary context where the four elements of media experiment, art practice, social thoughts and curatorial practice interact, the programs on offer at SIMA all emphasise the importance of an integrated training in media technologies combined with rigorous intellectual method, working to cultivate contemporary artistic talents equipped with critical-creative insight and capable of assimilating new media and techniques.

The School of Inter Media Art (SIMA) currently has a total of 310 Students, including 28 Doctoral Students and 85 Masters Students.

Faculty: 18 Professors, 7 Lab Technicians, 29 Guest Professors.

Dean: Gao Shiming

Vice Dean: Li Zhenpeng, Guan Huaibin


The School of Inter Media Art consists of three teaching/research platforms: the Studios, the Laboratories and the Research & Curatorial Department.

I. Studios:


Studio of Embodied Media

Director: Zhang Peili
Tutors: Wu Juehui, Zhang Liaoyuan, and Jiang Zhuyun

Academic goals: From a technical-conceptual perspective, the studio aims to explore the sensory mechanisms of media representation and different approaches to their use, with an emphasis on the interactive relationships that link new media techniques, the body and performance.
Sample curricula: Body Media, Spatial Response, Digital/Physical Perception, OSS/OSHW (Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware)


The Studio of Experimental Image Media

Director: Gao Shiqiang
Tutors: Gao Fuyan, Shi Ke

Academic goals: The studio aims to explore fully the potentials of traditional photography and digital imagery as these are applied in contemporary art, promoting experiments in the perception of contemporary art, incorporating image media via the integrated development of skills in areas such as photography and media installation.

Sample curricula: Classical Photography—technique and aesthetics, Image Narratives and Poetics, Creative Methodology on Moving Images, Media-based Expansion of the Digital Image etc.


Studio of Spatial-Multimedia Art

Director: Guan Huaibin
Tutors: Mou Sen, Zhu Xi

Academic goals: The studio aims to locate spatial aesthetics in contemporary media and technological spaces, developing the narrative potentials of these media across a broad range of formats including installation and the image, at the same time discussing media- and art practices as these exist in the public sector.

Sample curricula: Narrative Environments, the Language of Installation, Inter-media Megastructures, Performativity Installation, etc.


Open Media Lab

Director: Yao Dajuin
Tutors: Li Zhenpeng, Shen Ligong, and Cui Luhai

Academic goals: Viewing the post-Internet virtual world as an essential part of reality, Open Media Lab aims to explore the openings of current art practices, and examine existing media possibilities from an expanded perspective, combining cutting-edge technologies with persistent humanistic concerns, broaching issues of artistic production and its social significations.

Main curricula: Interactive audio-visual performance (Max/MSP, Quartz Composer, etc.), online real-time 3D environments (Second Life, Minecraft, Unity), social media art, iPhone app art, sound art, mixed-media animation, algorithmic art, net art, digital publication, open media development, etc.


Studio of Total Art

Director: Qiu Zhijie
Tutors: Yang Jinsong, Wu Junyong, and Song Zhen

Academic goals: The studio implements a system of contemporary art pedagogy which takes cultural research as an informative base, aiming to engage in intermedia art practices that are grounded in social space, integrating artistic creation with event and site.

Sample curricula: Performance/Theatre/Event and Body Politics, Critiquing the Art System and Daily Life, Field Research and Cultural Studies .Community Art, Everyday Art, etc.


II. The Research and Curatorial Department:

The Research and Curatorial Department is an interdisciplinary framework integrating researches in cultural studies, social thoughts and the curation of contemporary art. The Department aims to engage in in-depth, interdisciplinary inquiries, promoting pioneering practices in contemporary art with foundations in cultural studies, media- and curatorial research.




Institute of Contemporary Art and Social Thoughts

Director: Gao Shiming
Deputy Directors: Tsong-Zung Chang, Qiu Zhijie
Researchers: Chen Kuanhsing, Chen Chiehjen, Sun Ge, Lu Jie, Lu Xinghua, Huang Sunquan, He Zhaotian, Lin Chiwei, Zheng Bo, John Rajchman, Johan. F Hartel, Raqs Media Collective, etc.

Institute of Radical Visuality

Director: Geng Jianyi
Researchers: Fan Li, Jiang Zhuyun, Yi Lian, Sun Tian, etc.

Institute of Spatial Images

Director: Gao Shiqiang
Researchers: Ursula Panhans-Buhler, Yang Fudong, Wang Jianwei, Mou Sen, Huang Jianhong, Dong Bingfeng, Guo Xiaoyan, Yang Zhenyu, Sun Shanchun, Jin Yanan, Ni Keyun, Plusasir, etc.

Trans-media Art Research Center

Director: Wu Meichun
Researchers: Li Zhenpeng, Cao Xiaoyang, Cao Shu, etc.

Media City Research Center

Director: Guan Huaibin
Researchers: Yao Dajuin, Li Xiangning, Li Kaisheng, Li Zhenhua, Wu Juehui, Zhang Jianlong, etc.


III. Laboratories

The following laboratories are all SIMA affiliated: the sound art lab, digital-image and interactive art lab, video art lab, the digital darkroom, dynamic installation lab, virtual-sensory lab, cross-media display and performance lab, mixed media lab. All are important teaching platforms within SIMA and are open to students from all studios. Reservations are managed online.

Director:Guan Huaibin
Deputy Director: Tian Jin
Lab technicians: Fan Li, Song Zhen, Wen Rulin, Shi Hongfa, Zhang Chuan, Zhou Naichao, etc.


Core curricula:

Internet and Algorithmic Art, Video Art, Experimental Film, Embodied Media Performance, Narrative Environments, Spatial Images, Trans-media Visual Production, Sound Art, Social Media Art, Audio-Visual Art, Art and Social Interaction, Immersion and Game Design, Field Work: Social Investigation & Cultural Studies, etc.


School website: