立場新聞 Stand News

Study Culture in International Perspective

2017/3/27 — 10:26


While I was writing my masters dissertation, I couldn't help but wonder - why did I pursue a degree from an overseas institute? Given that I studied Hong Kong directors and martial art films, it should be easier if I do it in local institutions, in terms of looking up references and explaining complex notions in Chinese culture... However, when I think about this experience, I realize that it is not only about getting a diploma, but also a chance to think from different perspectives.

Around this time last year, I interned for Professor Bittinger, in assisting her studies forum about Asian literature and cinema. Besides the scholars from our university, the participants of the forum also included some experts from other institutions. The combination was in fact quite international - there were students and teachers from France, Taiwan, Germany, and China. A French professor discussed the adaptation of Murakami’s novels; a Taiwanese scholar talked about the difficulty to visualize Eileen Cheng's writings; a French documentary director shared how he transformed the poetic aesthetic of Cambodian poetry into visual elements...  Among them, Professor Bittinger talked about how Chinese calligraphy illustrates the choreographic movement of martial arts in a film.


To my surprise, the European scholars provided a very profound and inspiring insight regarding Asian culture. Furthermore, while applying Western notions in the topics, they tried to add new viewpoints to Eastern culture that I, being Chinese, had never given a second thought.

For example, in Prof. Bittinger’s seminar she pointed out that the form of Chinese calligraphy imitates the fluid movement of kung fu, and that’s why the calligraphic title of a martial art film establishes a specific atmosphere of the genre from the beginning - it totally blew my mind. As a native Chinese speaker, I read the meaning of the Chinese title when I see one, but never paid attention to the shape of the characters. I would never have imagined how calligraphy would highlight the film's genre. On the other hand, the European scholars were also fascinated to learn that a Chinese character contains the meaning in its structure. It’s amazing how a single subject can be interpreted in such different yet interesting ways from different perspectives.


Studying abroad indeed shows me a wider world in analyzing local culture. Yet, not all of us have the opportunity and time for that. Moreover, it would be much harder for those who have already found their dream job in Hong Kong.

However, there are opportunities to pursue an overseas diploma without leaving Hong Kong. If you are working in the field of cultural management and thinking about taking a foreign programme, the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)’s Diploma of Advanced Studies "Executive Education on Global Culture” may fit your needs. The programme includes a series of courses that explore the global culture trend, as well as the emerging art markets in Asia. The best part is you will be able to look into the global culture development from different angles - it gives you a great opportunity to discuss the global culture market with international experts and meet other culture professionals around the world.

For example, the upcoming 3-day course “Dream and Reality of Cultural Development in Emerging Cities” (21-23 April), will be held by Michael Schindhelm and Elisabeth Danuser - two renowned specialists in cultural management. In the course, they will share their experience of the global culture development from an international perspective. Especially, being a writer, filmmaker, and curator, Schindhelm is very experienced in managing cultural organizations in European and Asian cities, including Dubai, Hong Kong, and Moscow. Therefore, he can certainly give a unique insight into the art world in Asia.

In addition, ZHdk will run two other courses - “International Curating Studio: Curating and Social Change” (27 – 31 March)  and  “CCAA: Chinese Contemporary Art Award” (1 –3 Dec), in Hong Kong this year, to discuss in depth various topics of the art and cultural trend from China to the wider world.

While studying abroad, I treasured the most the chances to meet other students from other places. I worked previously for an art organization in Hong Kong, where I gained a good understanding of the local cultural scene, but not the global art scene. For example, I had no idea of how developed the Thai film industry is, or how important the Toronto Film Festival is to them, until I learned it from a Thai classmate. Encountering people from different backgrounds let me understand how little I knew about other places outside Hong Kong.

In the same way, ZHdK’s Diploma of Advanced Studies "Executive Education on Global Culture” facilitates the exchange of ideas between international students. In addition to meeting culture professionals in the class, you may also meet other students and tutors via the programme’s online platform to share your points of view on cultural issues. In other words, it helps you to expand your international perspective on global culture both inside and outside the classroom.

If you want to study global culture management in Hong Kong further, you may also finish the Diploma of Advanced Studies "Executive Education on Global Culture”, which is co-organized by ZHdK and Connecting Space, simply by taking more courses in the programme to complete the credits required. With the help of this fantastic flexibility, students may pursue their studies in global culture and, at the same time, apply the new-gained knowledge in their work.

Courses Information

Zurich University of the Arts in conjunction with Connecting Spaces Hong Kong-Zurich is now accepting applications for three courses in curatorial management and critical theory as part of their innovative 2017 Diploma of Advanced Studies ‘Executive Education on Global Culture’ programme:

“International Curating Studio: Curating and Social Change” (27 – 31 March)

“Dream and Reality of Cultural Development in Emerging Cities” (21-23 April)

“Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA)” (1 –3 Dec) which provides first-hand information about current art practices in China.

All course are facilitated by known practitioners in the field of contemporary arts and include materials relevant to cultural management on an international level. Future or current curators, academics, students or art practitioners will be able to apply credits from these courses to the Diploma of Advanced Studies ‘Executive Education on Global Culture’ or simply expand and engage their existing knowledge of international curatorial practices. In addition to the listed courses we also offer other online courses and complimentary course materials.

For further information please see: http://connectingspaces.ch/projects/education/das/

The Course is registered as a Non-local Course by the Education Bureau of HKSAR under the Registration Number 272703.

It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which this course may lead.

(This article is sponsored by Connecting Space Hong Kong)



大約去年這個時候,我在妮塔莉教授那兒實習,協助她舉辦一場有關亞洲文學與電影的研討會。這次研討會除了我們大學的教授參與外,亦邀請了其他大學學者,就各式各樣題目分享。 最後來這次會議的,除了法國人,也有來自德國、台灣、中國的學者與研究生。有法國教授介紹改編自村上春樹小說的電影; 有台灣學者講解張愛玲小說映像化的難度;有法國紀錄片導演,介紹如何用電影來傳遞柬埔寨詩人作品的詩意。而妮塔莉教授的題目,則是中文書法如何在一撇一捺間,體現武術行雲流水之形態。




比如說,四月的課程「新興城市文化發展的理想與現實」(4月21至23日),便由兩位講者Michael Schindhelm與Elisabeth Danuser分享他們對全球文化發展的心得,為學員提供更國際化分析角度。尤其Schindhelm身為作家、電影人和策展人,曾在歐亞各地如杜拜、香港、莫斯科均有文化機構管理或擔任顧問之經驗,對亞洲藝術發展會有更深入理解。




假如你身在香港又希望更深入修讀全球文化管理,蘇黎世藝術大學與 Connecting Space 合作的「全球文化管理培訓」, 只要修讀足夠學分,便可取得深造文憑(Diploma of Advanced Studies)。學員修課具彈性之餘,亦方便他們把知識運用在日常文化工作之中。


蘇黎世藝術大學與 Connecting Spaces Hong Kong-Zurich 於2017年將開辦創新的「全球文化管理培訓」計劃,計劃其下探討策展管理和批判理論的三個課程現正接受報名,課程涵蓋:




全部課程均由當代藝術圈內知名藝術工作者授課,並提供國際級的文化管理相關教材。現職或未來的策展人、學者、學生或藝術工作者不但可以從課程中實踐並擴闊已有的國際展覽策劃知識,還可申請豁免深造文憑(Diploma of Advanced Studies) 之學分。除上述列明的課程外,我們亦提供線上課程,以及免費的課程教材。