Records of the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and predecessors




Global Persistent Identifier


Local Identifier(s)

OC (local reference number)


1986-onwards (is coverage date of)

Access status



Physical and Logical Extent

24 boxes

Content Extent


During the 30th anniversary of the Centre, most of the Centre's physical records were arranged by date into 3 series: timeline, marketing archive, and press cuttings. During the Heritage Lottery Funded project, 2016-2018, the physical records of the date dating up to 2011 were arranged an order reflecting the functions of the organisation. The Marketing archive & press cuttings were retained in their original order. Records dating up to 1997 when arranged into a separate subfonds as the Records of the Chinese View Art Association. 

From 2020, to ease discovery of records, the structure of the collection was rearranged and records can be found in multiple places in the heirarchy. The primary location of the records (reflected in their identifiers) reflects the either the physical order of analogue records or the original order of born-digital records. Records were further placed in record sets relating to their function to make it easier to browse the collection.


Scope and Content

Records of the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art and its predecessors.


In 1986, a group of Manchester base artist of Chinese descent organised Chinese View '86, the first arts festival of its kind in the UK, as a platform for the Chinese artistic community and to develop the positive identity of Chinese culture in Britain. After the success of the festival the artist formed the Chinese View Arts Association (CVAA) and organised a second festival in 1988. 

In 1989, the CVAA was able to secure funding to open a new arts and community centre, the Chinese Arts Centre, at 36 Charlotte Street, in the heart of Manchester's China Town. The Centre aimed to aim to reconnect the younger generation of Chinese people in Manchester with traditional Chinese arts and crafts and well as advance the education of the general public, though exhibitions, workshops and other events. 

In 1997 the Centre moved to new premises Edge Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The move signalled the beginning of the Centre’s gradual shift from traditional to contemporary Chinese art, and began to promote young British based Chinese artists through its ‘New Commissions’ scheme. During this period the Centre also organised several touring exhibitions which promoted Chinese contemporary art to a wider audience: ‘Representing the People’ (1999) and ‘Made in China’ (2001) toured the UK and provide a platform for Chinese artists, many of whom had never exhibited work in the UK previously.

In 2003 the Centre moved into a purpose built building on Thomas Street. The new RIBA award winning building featured a large gallery space, a resident artist studio, 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’s commitment to helping the career development of British-based artist of East Asian descent was also shown in schemes such as ‘PAD’ (Professional Artist Development) and ‘EAST’ ( East Asian Strategic Training).

From 2008 the Centre changed its focus to become an international agency for Chinese contemporary art, working with artist and organisations from across East Asia. This led to the rebranding of the organisation as the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in November 2013. In 2014 CFCCA became a major partner in the third Asia Triennial Manchester, curating Harmonious Society, which brought 30 artists to 6 venues in Manchester.

In 2016, the Centre commemorated its 30th anniversary with a programme of events and exhibitions featuring artists, curators and academics who had previously worked with the organisation.

Management and Use

Conditions of Access

Digital surrogates of a selection of the records in this collection are available online. The collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Centre. Records containing personal data of living individuals are not available to the public following the Data Protection Act (2018) without the express permission of the Data Subjects.

Conditions of Use

Selected records which the Centre has permission to make available are available under a licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Related Content

Related People and Organisations

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), (2013-) (accumulated)

Related Places

Manchester (is subject of)

Related Terms

Fonds (has as type)
(has accrual status)
Open (has access status)