Entrance, China Academy of Art (Nanshan Campus)

8Oth Anniversary

80th Anniversary of China Academy of Art


Founded in 1928 as the first art academy with complete academic programs in China, China Academy of Art, undergoing changes in name and location, continues to yield outstanding achievements known both at home and abroad. CAA has experienced early hardship, ample maturity and leaping expansion as a vanguard in art. With a mission to revitalise Chinese art, it is in active dialogue with the world and has great influence in the development of modern and contemporary art in China.

Nowadays the academy has expanded its departments and academic teams and has garnered tremendous achievements in the school history. The infrastructure of CAA has improved in unprecedented ways. With Nanshan Campus being finished in 2003, and Xiangshan Campus fully functional in 2007, covering an area of 1000 hectares and total space of 300,000 square meters, the academy now has three beautiful and well equipped campuses in the cities of Hangzhou and Shanghai.

The serene views of the West Lake and the inviting vistas of the Xiangshan campus nurture the unique spirit of the academy, inspire a poetic dialogue between nature and mind, which also shaped the legacy of the academy. This peaceful natural environment beacons the individual to reflect and explore, to observe and to create. Thus, the spirit of China Academy of Art is not only composed of the picturesque landscape of the lakes and hills, but also of the minds and horizon of artists it fosters. The China Academy of Art has moved its campuses from Gushan Hill to Nanshan Hill and Xiangshan Hill. From hill to hill, conveying A strong sense of mission, A cultural responsibility and spirit, A poetic tradition linked with the hills and waters.

Combining Integrity and Knowledge
Practice and Theory
Past and Present
Local and Global

China Academy of Art has developed its unique multiple academic structure. Its fine arts major has been honoured the key discipline of the nation, while fine arts, art of design and art theory have been listed as three key provincial research bases of humanities. Also its majors such as art of design, film, architecture, television and broadcasting are listed as provincial key disciplines during the “11th Five Year Plan”; while architecture, drama and film, and public art are listed as provincial key disciplines during the “12th Five Year Plan”.

CAA now has 4 first standard doctoral programs, which are art theory, fine arts, design, drama and film. And has over 1200 graduate students.


Fight For Art,” calligraphy by Lin Fengmian, 1st President of CAA


Hangzhou is a city with rich cultural heritage. Located in the heart of Hangzhou, the academy has inherited its thousand-year-old culture and instilled the spirit of picturesque landscape. The Academy was founded by the renowned educator Cai Yuanpei early in 1928, who had been promoting art education in China to redeem the then war-torn China.

At beginning, there were only four departments in the academy including Traditional Chinese Painting, Western Painting, Sculpture and Pattern Design. While in the past eight decades, the academy has been renamed, and was moved westward during the war to Jiangxi, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, and Chongqing, and finally returned to Hangzhou.

Throughout the history of CAA, there are two important academic concepts: one is “eclectic”, championed by the first president Lin Fengmian; and the other is “innovation derives from tradition” advocated by Pan Tianshou. These two interrelated concepts form the major traditions of CAA, and create a free environment for artistic creation and experimentation and also diversified humanities studies.

The academy has attracted and fostered many renowned artists who have become major artistic forces in the country, making it one of the most prestigious art institutions. These important artists with national and international fame are Lin Fengmian, Pan Tianshou, Huang Binhong, Liu Kaiqu, Wu Dayu, Yan Wenliang, Ni Yide, Li Kuchan, Li Keran, Aiqing, Chen Zhifo, Pang Xunqin, Lei Guiyuan, Xiao Chuanjiu, Guan Liang, Huang Junbi, Chang Shuhong, Dong Xiwen, Wang Shikuo, Wang Chaowen, Li Lincan, Deng Bai, Wu Guanzhong, Zhao Wuji, Zhu Dequn, Luo Gongliu……

Their art works and endeavours are models and great references for later artists to learn from.


1928 National Academy of Art

1929 Hangzhou National College of Art

1938 National College of Art

1950 East-China Campus of Central Academy of Fine Arts

1958 Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts

1993 China Academy of Art


Lin Fengmian


Founder, painter well-known for fusing the East and the West

Teng Gu


Forerunner of Chinese art history

Lü Fengzi


Painter and founder of the Jiangsu Art Group

Chen Zhifo


Painter, art historian, graduated from Tokyo Art Academy

Pan Tianshou


One of the key traditional Chinese painters of the 20th century

Wang Rizhang


Oil painter, graduated from École des Beaux-Arts, Paris

Liu Kaiqu


Renowned sculptor and educator

Mo Pu


Painter, former Standing Director of the Chinese Artists Association

Xiao Feng


Painter, graduated from Repin Academy of Fine Arts, Leningrad

Pan Gongkai


Renowned painter and educator, Vice Chairman, Chinese Artists Association

Xu Jiang


Renowned oil painter, studied at Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg; Vice Chairman, Chinese Artists Association