As well as documenting our collections, the online catalogue contains descriptions of all our known public events up to 2016. You can search for information on our events using the quick search box or you can look through all our events on our Browse page.

Digitized versions of our programme booklets are also available on the catalogue.

Timeline of Events


GB3451/OC/A/8/1/2 Chinese View '86 Logo

Chinese View '86 logo (GB3451/OC/A/8/1/2)

Chinese View Arts Association

In November 1986, Manchester based artist and radio producer Amy Lai arranged the Chinese View Arts Festival. The event aimed to address the lack of awareness of Chinese culture in Manchester and to reconnect the local Chinese community with traditional Chinese arts and crafts.

Due to the success of the Festival, the Chinese View Arts Association (CVAA) was incorporated on 4th June 1987. The mission of the CVAA was to advance the education of the public in all forms of Chinese culture, through organising and promoting Chinese cultural events, and providing a bridge between local organisations and Chinese arts and cultural groups.

The CVAA also organised the 2nd Chinese View Arts festival in February 1988.

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GB3451/OC/A/6/9 Photo of Kites

Photo of kites, c.1990 (GB3451/OC/A/6/9)

GB3451/OC/A/1/15 Poster: Film Posters of Hong Kong, 1991

Poster: Film Posters of Hong Kong, 1991 (GB3451/OC/A/1/15)

GB3451/OC/A/7/1  Photograph: Mary Tang origami workshop, 1992 Oct 26

Origami workshop, Oct 1992,(GB3451/OC/A/7/1)

In October 1989, the CVAA opened the Chinese Arts Centre (CAC) in Charlotte Street at the edge of Manchester's China Town. The Centre aimed promote an appreciation of Chinese life, culture, philosophy, and values by providing cultural activities to reintroduce Chinese skills and culture to the local Chinese community as well as raise awareness in the wider population.

The Centre also arranged exhibitions featuring traditional and contemporary art forms


Other Programme Events

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GB3451/OC/A/6/10/11 Dragon Boat festival Poster, 1994

Dragon boat festivals workshops poster, 1994 (GB3451/OC/A/6/10/11)

GB3451/OC/A/6/16 CAC programme, Spring 1996

Chinese Arts Centre programme, Spring 1996 (GB3451/OC/A/6/16)

Despite an optimistic start, the Centre had struggled to make an impact. The Centre's programme was paused while the CVAA reviewed its operations. The Chinese Arts Centre was relaunched in October 1993 with a revised mission and values. The Centre's programme was largely based off site, and did not regularly programme exhibitions on site until September 1995.


Other Programme Events

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GB3451/OC/6/2/1/3 Scenery in Zero, (1997), Adam Hongshan Wei, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, 1997 Mar 13 - 1997 Apr 26.

Scenery in the Zero (1997), Adam Hongshan Wei. © Chinese Arts Centre. (GB3451/OC/6/2/1/3)

GB3451/OC/6/2/5/15 Poster: 'Retrospectre', 1997, Chinese Arts Centre. Courtesy of the CFCCA Archive & Library, (GB3451/OC/6/2/5/15)

Poster: 'Retrospectre', 1997, (GB3451/OC/6/2/5/15)

GB3451/OC/6/2/7/2/3 : Chinese Arts Centre programme Spring/Summer 1998

Chinese Arts Centre programme Spring/Summer 1998 (GB3451/OC/6/2/7/2/3)

S4.011: Representing the People / Sarah Champion (eds) (Manchester: Chinese Arts Centre: 1999)

Representing the People catalogue (1999) (S4.011)

In March 1997, the Chinese Arts Centre moved to new premises on Edge Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter. The Centre's programme was mostly centred on UK-based contemporary artists, but it also began to show works by international artists. The Centre also worked towards become a UK agency for Chinese arts and crafts, acting as a bridge between artists and other organisations.

In August 1998, the new venue was closed after it had been damaged by a fire. Planned exhibitions were moved elsewhere and the organisation concentrated upon its external activities until the venue was refurbished. During this period the Centre organised the exhibition Representing the People, which toured the UK in 1999, and was one of the first large scale exhibitions in the UK to feature works by contemporary artist from China.


Other Programme Events

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GB3451/OC/6/2/11/5 : Sauce (1999), Anthony Key, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, 1999 Feb 22 - 1999 Mar 26.

Sauce (1999), Anthony Key. © Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/6/2/11/5).

GB3451/OC/6/2/17/3/44 : Seeing: Out of Time (2000) Suki Chan, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, 2000 Feb 07-2000 Apr 21. Photography by Adam Green

Seeing: Out of Time (2000), Suki Chan. © Adam Green, (GB3451/OC/6/2/17/3/44).

GB3451/OC/6/2/22/8 : Installation View: Heart Sutra, (2001), Chun-Chao Chiu, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, (2001 May 07 - 2001 Jul 13. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre.

Heart Sutra (2001) Chun-Chao Chiu. © Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/6/2/22/8).

GB3451/OC/D/2101/81 : Installation view: New Sharawadgi (2002), Yu-Cheng Chuang, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, 2002 Jul 17 - 2002 Oct 04. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre.

New Sharawadgi (2002) Yu-Cheng Chuang. © Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/D/2101/81).

The venue was reopened in February 1999 with a new purpose-built gallery space. Initially the Centre continued to programme shows featuring existing works, but it was felt that the new space should be used in a different way. Between 2000-2002, the Centre commissioned eleven site specific works by emerging UK-based artists as part of its New Commissions scheme. The works would use the Centre’s space to the full whilst helping developing the careers and artistic inspection of the artists involved.

The scheme also lead to the development of other projects which offered career support to artists, including the Creative Diversity : Greater Manchester (CD:GM) project and the Artist's Database.

The Centre also further developed its links with east Asia, including a second national touring exhibition, Made in China, featuring works by contemporary designers from China. The Centre also began to develop exchange programmes with arts organisations in east Asia.


Other Programme events

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GB3451/OC/D/2101/49 : Installation view: Living Word 2, (2003) Xu Bing. Xu Bing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, 2003 Nov 28 - 2004 Jan 04. Photography by Tim McConville

Living World 2 (2003) Xu Bing. © Tim McConville, (GB3451/OC/D/1708/19/49).

GB3451/OC/D/1708/19/49 : Long Life (2004), Denise Kum, 2004 Jul – 2004 Aug 25, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Copyright of the Chinese Arts Centre and Denise Kum.

Long Life (2004) Denise Kum. © David Hancock/Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/D/2101/459).

GB3451/OC/D/1708/16/6 : Installation view: Objects of Demonstration, (2004) Community Museum Project. People Used to Dream of the Future, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester,  2004 May 21-2004 Jul 18. Photography by Tim McConville

Objects of Demonstration (2004) Community Museum Project. © Tim McConville, (GB3451/OC/D/1708/16/6).

GB3451/OC/2102/332 : Another City?, 2005, Panni Poh Yoke Loh. Open Studio, 2005 Mar 12, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by the Chinese Arts Centre.

Another City? (2005), Panni Poh Yoke Loh. © David Hancock/Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/D/2102/332).

GB3451/OC/D/2101/600 : Installation view: Horizon, 2005, Maria Chen Pascual. Re-Fashion, 2005 May 06 -2005 July 17, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by David Hancock

Horizon (2005) Maria Chen Pascual © David Hancock/Chinese Arts Centre, (GB3451/OC/D/2101/600).

GB3451/OC/D/1708/4/3: Years (2006), susan pui san lok. Golden, (2006 May 12 – 2006 July 21), Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester. Photography by Tim McConville

Years (2006) susan pui san lok © Tim McConville, (GB3451/OC/D/1708/4/3).

In 2001, the Centre secured £2.2 million from Arts Council, England, Lottery Fund to outfit a new building and support operational and marketing development of the organisation for three years of the venue.

The new venue was opened in November 2003 and featured a large gallery space, a resident artist studio and living space, an education suite and a shop with a tea shop. The new space gave the Centre the room to expand their activities acting as an agency for Chinese arts in Britain and inviting collaborations with other organisations.

The Centre also began to host resident artists: ‘Breathe’ 3 month residencies aimed at more established artists from UK and elsewhere, and ‘Whisper’ short residencies aimed at UK-based emerging artists.

The Centre also continued to support the career development of artists through its Professional Artist Development (PAD) (2005-2008) and East Asian Strategic Training (EAST) (2005-2007) schemes. The 'First Step' exhibition space was also created in 2004 s an alternative space for new artists to show their work.

Main Exhibitions

Artist Residencies

  • He An Breathe residency, (2003 Nov 27 - 2004 Feb 27)
  • Gordon Cheung, Breathe residency, (2004 Mar 01 - May 31)
  • David Lau Whisper residency (2004 Jun 03 - Jun 18)
  • Denise Kum Breathe residency, (2004 Jun 22 - Aug 29)
  • Amy Cham, Whisper residency, (2004 Sep 29 - Oct 11)
  • Shu Yang, Breathe residency, (2004 Oct 11-Dec 04)
  • Eric Fong, Breathe residency, (2004 Nov 22 - 2005 Feb 28)
  • Panni Yoke Loh, Whisper residency, (2005 Mar 02 - Mar 16)
  • Pamela So, Breathe residency, (2005 Mar 21 - Jun 20)
  • Margaret Tran, Whisper residency, (2005 Jun 25 - Jul 06 & Oct 10- Oct 24)
  • Stella Lai, Breathe residency, (2005 Jul 08 - Oct 06)
  • Ken Chu, Breathe residency, (2005 Nov 02 - 2006 Feb 08)
  • Sophia Hao Whisper residency (2006 Feb 01 - Feb 27)
  • Karen & Peggy Ngan Breathe residency (2006 Mar 06 - May 06)
  • Wai Yan Chan Whisper Residency (2006 May 09 May - May 22)
  • Jessica Emmett Whisper Residency (2006 Jun 01- Jun 15 & Sep 20 - 3 Oct)
  • Owen Leong Breathe residency (2006 Jun 18 - Sep 13)
  • Leung Po Shan Breathe residency (2006 Oct 06 -Nov 06)
  • Karen Tam Breathe residency (2006 23 Nov - 2007 Feb 09)

First Step

Other Programme Events

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GB3451/OC/D/1801/269 : Chinese Arts Centre advert, Dec 2006

Chinese Arts Centre advert, Dec 2006, (GB3451/OC/D/1801/269).

In late 2006, the Centre began to look for alternative sources of funding and many aspects of its programme were developed in collaboration with other art organisations.

In 2007 most Breathe residencies were commissioned by other organisations or held by self-funded artists. The Centre also began facilitate more external exhibitions by acting as an agency for art organisations looking to work with east Asian artists.

The Centre also held a series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong as well as its own 21st anniversary in 2007


Artist Residencies

First Step

Other Programme Events


During the period the Centre began to fully concentrate upon promoting Chinese contemporary art. In 2012 the former teashop was transformed into a new gallery space named 'Project Space'.


Artist Residencies

First Step

  • First Step by Jessica Wan, (2011 Jan 14 - May 14)
  • First Step by Xinyi Liu, (2011 May - Sep 17)
  • First Step by Neesa & Friends [ATM11 trailblazer], (2011 Oct 01 - Nov 19)
  • First Step by Jessica Longmore, (2011 Nov 25 - Dec 23)
  • First Step by Jeremy Hutchison, (2012 Jan 14 - May 12)
  • First Step by Samantha Y Huang, (2012 Sep 21 - Dec 23)
  • First Step by Meiling Tse, (2013 Jan 12 - Mar 11)
  • Kaleidoscope by Jennifer Yang, (2013 May 18 - Sep 14)
  • First Step by Wendie Xie, (2013 Sep 21 - 2013 Dec 23)

Other Programme Events


  • START education, project, (2011-2014)
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    In October 2013 the Centre was renamed the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and developed a commissioning partnership with the University of Salford. In 2014, the First Step commissioning scheme came to an end as the Project space (renamed Gallery 2) became the location for presenting work by emerging artists.


    Artist Residencies

    First Step

    Other Programme Events


  • START education, project, (2011-2014)
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    In 2016 the Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary. For the first 6 months of the year, a timeline of the Centre's programme history was presented alongside new works by notable artists who had previously worked at the Centre.

    In July-December the Centre also held a season of exhibitions to mark Manchester's status as the European City of Science for 2016.


    Artist Residencies

    • Kuo I-Chen, Taipei Artist Village Exchange Residency, (2016 15 Aug - 2016 Nov 14)
    • Chloe Ting, Art for the Environment International Artist Residency (2016 Nov 20 - 2016 Dec 04)

    Other Programme Events

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