OPEN CALL | 2020 Research-Based Curatorial Project

The OCAT Institute is pleased to announce the official launch of the“2020 Research-Based Curatorial Project.” We are now accepting research-based exhibition proposals from the academic and art circles. Submissions should be received by 24:00 on 31 March 2020.


The“Research-based exhibition” is a type of art exhibition with specific characteristics and functions. As an institution dedicated to both art research and exhibition, the OCAT Institute has initiated the“research-based exhibition” as an integral part of its annual programs since 2018. The aim is to promote the integration of art and scholarship, and to provide practical opportunities and an interactive platform for scholars and curators in the field of contemporary art and art history.


With the launch of this year’s“Research-Based Curatorial Project,” the OCAT Institute looks forward to receiving more proposals with outstanding research depthwith vivid spatial description.

Project Guidelines

1.The submitted proposal shall be “research-based”. Along with other projects initiated by OCAT Institute, through the exploration of modern and contemporary Chinese art, the project aims to establish a paradigm of values, a mechanism of academic study and an alternative approach, oriented by historical research. The content of the project shall include, but not limited to the following subjects: studies of artists/exhibition cases, art phenomena or events, art theories; research on a specific genre, such as painting, moving image, architecture, design, sound art, etc.; or research on a specific region. All studies of scholarly merit are welcomed.

2. The submitted proposal shall beoriginal andexperimental. We encouragerelatively small-scaled and flexible exhibitions.

3. Based on the exhibition in question, objects to be included can range from archives, manuscripts, photographs, publications, artworks, etc. Above all, exhibitions shall emphasize scholarly merits, rather than merely exhibiting artworks.

4. Proposed exhibitions shall be curated and designed according to the provided exhibition spaces of OCAT Institute, which includes both downstairs and ground floor galleries. 

5.The proposed exhibitions shall take less than one month to install, with an exhibiting length of 2-3 months.



Submission Requirements


Fill out your Personal CV as required(Download CV form) and submit together with the following files (Exhibition proposals can be submitted in either Chineseor English):  

1. Project title and statement(limited to 1000characters in Chinese/600 words in English)

2. Curator/curatorial team’s CV (limited to 500characters in Chinese/300 words in English)

3. List of (proposed) artists and short bios


4. List of works and introductions (limited to200characters in Chinese/100 words in English foreach artwork)

5. Sketches and descriptions oftheexhibition design (Dowmload Floor Plan)

6. Descriptions ofrequirements regarding the preservation and display of the documents as well as the maintenance of artworks shall be submitted along with thesubmission package files

7. Plan for other related events alongside the exhibition

8. A completed Budget WorksheetForm (can include, but is not limited to,the expensesfor Artist Exhibition Fee, production, transportation, insurance, equipment, exhibition installation, design, promotion, travel, accommodation, public activity andpublication, etc.)


Statement of Originality


The proposal shall be the participant’s original work and will not have been exhibited publicly in any form in the past. The curator(s) shall be responsible for resolving anycopyright issues and other liability issues related to archives and images in order to avoid infringement of any third party’s copyrights, trademark rights and other intellectual property rights. Otherwise, OCAT Institute can suspend the project, and reserves the right to pursue further legal actions.


Evaluation Process


1. The evaluation is divided into two rounds: primary evaluation and reassessment.The shortlisted curatorswill have theopportunity to participate in thetwo-month presentation in the"Shortlist Exhibition", andtravel to OCAT Institute in Beijing for a presentation of the submitted proposal and interviewing with the committee is required. (OCAT Research Center will be responsible for the selectedcandidate's domestic travel expenses to and from Beijing. Overseas travel expenses will not be covered.)

2. Thecommittee is constituted of The OCAT Institute committee membersled by Wu Hung, alongsideguest consultants.

3. Results of primary evaluation will be announced by the OCAT Institute on its official website and WeChat social platform in May 2020. Final results of the projectwill be decided in conjunction with themembers of thecommittee, the guest consultantsand the public’s review. The announcement time will be according to the implementation of the “Shortlist Exhibition”.

4. The OCAT Institute reserves the right to disqualify candidates should they fail to fulfill the expected work or violate any relevant regulations of art museums or OCAT Institute during exhibition preparation.





1. OCAT Institute will assist thefinalselected candidate(s) in preparing, implementing and promoting the exhibition.

2. OCAT Institute will provide all available exhibition space for the usage of the selected exhibition for 2-3 months, depending on the schedule of exhibitions at OCAT Institute.

3.OCAT Institute will provideafund of 300,000 RMB (tax-inclusive) annually for the Research-Based Curatorial Project. Any expense in excess of this shall be covered by the candidates themselves. All expenditures shall be audited, approved by OCAT's financial department, and within financial guidelines, in compliance with relevant state regulations.

4. The OCAT Institute will assist thefinalselected candidate(s) inthe editing and production of exhibition brochures and other publications.




1. Submission Deadline: 24:00 (GMT+8),March 31st, 2020.

2. Submission Method: Send the submission package files to, with the email subject heading of "Curatorial Project 2020 + name of the submitter."

Further Info


Contact: Liu Qiuxu;

Tel: 86-10-67375618



* OCAT Institute reserves the right of final decision on the interpretation of all terms and conditions.


About Research-Based Curatorial Project


The Research-Based Curatorial Project is a program launched by OCAT Institute with the aim of encouraging curatorial research inconjunction with exhibition curating. Since its inauguration in 2015, OCAT Institute has organized andpresented a number of research-based exhibitions, including “La Mémoire Brûle,” “Ten Years of OCAT,” “An Exhibition about Exhibitions” and “Big Tail Elephants: One Hour, No Room, Five Shows,” as well as their related academic research activities, and has been devoted to the collection,organization and preservation of archives of contemporary art and exhibitions. Dedicated to discovering and facilitating art research programs and comprehensive exhibition of the research results, this curatorial project aims to provide institutional guidance and resources for outstanding young scholars and curators in the fields of contemporary art and art history, and build a platform that promotes communications in the arena ofthearts.