Chinese Studies Research Group

The Chinese Studies Research Group (CSRG) meets several times a year on Fridays to discuss and share ideas and experiences relating to researching China. We also hold regular Research Days to provide Chinese Studies researchers with the opportunity to share their knowledge.

2017 Seminars

"From Cosmetic Surgery to Feminist Art: Reshape the Female Image in Contemporary Chinese Art"
Presented by Su Yang (杨苏), Artist and Co Director of the short film 'Beauty'

"Artist talk of Beauty from the perspective of a filmmaker"
Presented by Zhang Xiaoan (张晓安)

Friday 25th August 2017, 10.00am
Dulcie Hollyock Room, Baillieu Library
Morning tea will be provided

In this seminar, we were honoured to have Zhang Xiaoan, a Chinese filmmaker and writer, and Su Yang, a Chinese feminist art scholar and artist to speak. Zhang Xiaoan and Su Yang's recent film Beauty is the winner in Powershorts Short Film Competition, Powershop and Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia, 2017.

Su Yang presented her current research which aims to investigate the representation of women in contemporary Chinese art from the 1990s to the present, with feminist methodology. She specifically focused on the way women shape their images (both through make up, representations on social media and, more radically, cosmetic surgery) to conform the male desire of female beauty and visual pleasure. These representations of femininity are shaped by global consumerism, Chinese styled conceptions of feminism (‘feminine-ism’), as well as the patriarchal ideologies in Western culture and Chinese Confucianism. The study examined how the language around feminism in China, through its conception as ‘feminine-ism’ affects women’s perceptions of their representation. This in-depth study complements the writers own paintings, drawings, photographs and videos, but beyond unnecessary harmful non-therapeutic cosmetic surgery amongst Chinese women to question the shifting socialised idea of female beauty and to thwart the representation of women by male gaze.

There was also a screening of the film 'Beauty', and Zhang Xiaoan shared stories of making this film followed by 'behind the scenes' discussions.

2016 seminars

Seminars in 2016 were held on:

  • Friday 8 April
  • Friday 13 May (GSM)
  • Friday 24 June
  • Friday 26 August (Fieldwork Workshop)
  • Friday 14 October

Seminars ran from 9am-2pm in the Dulcie Hollyock Room in Baillieu Library.

In 2016, the Chinese Studies Research Group also held an International Chinese Studies Research Forum.

See information on seminars and research days from 2015

The research areas of our participants are very broad and include, for example: Ming Dynasty history, contemporary politics, Buddhist writings, environmental management, traditional music, anthropology, Christian missionaries, applied linguistics, urban property, education, popular culture and media, etc.

The Group encourages all postgraduate students and academics, regardless of their disciplinary area, who are working on or researching on or about China to join as a member.

CSRG committee and contacts


Chen Li
PhD candidate, School of Geography
Phone: 0451150016


Tao Xue
PhD candidate, School of Geography
Phone: 0431014584


Lei Yu
PhD candidate, Asia Institute
Phone: 0410363751

Program Ccoordinator

Lingfen Zhang
Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Committee members

Xiao Tan (Monica)
PhD candidate, Asia Institute
Phone: 0413057922

Asako P. Saito
PhD candidate, Asia Institute

Dr Rey Tiquia
Honorary Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Email: or
Phone: 0419616630

More information