Local Identifier(s)

OC/A (local reference number)


1986-1997 ()

Access status



Scope and Content

Records of the Chinese View Arts Association and the early history of the Chinese Art Centre from 1986 to the Centre's move to Edge Street in 1997. 

Record Resource Extent

1 box


The majority of the files in this set were separate from other materials in the archive so have been arranged into their own subfonds. Publicity materials and press cuttings were taken from the Timeline folders. 


The Chinese View Arts Association (CVAA) was created to revitalise and develop awareness in the Chinese community of traditional Chinese crafts and arts as well as develop an awareness and understanding of the Chinese way of life in the general population. Led by artist, Amy Lai, the CVAA organised two Chinese arts festivals in Manchester, Chinese View '86 and Chinese View '88, the first of their kind in the UK.

Following the success of the festivals, the CVAA, with funding from the Gulbankian Foundation, opened a Chinese Art Centre in October 1989. The new Centre was located on Charlotte Street in Manchester’s China Town, and was to acts as a Chinese arts venue as well as a community centre. The Centre held exhibitions of Chinese art and offered educational workshops to schools and adults covering traditional Chinese arts and crafts.

The first few years of the Centre were affected by repercussions from the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The Centre was relaunched in 1993, and its focus was shifted to promoting the work of artists of Chinese decent and encouraging the wider appreciation of Chinese contemporary culture and art. As well as holding exhibitions and offering educational workshops, the Centre began to encourage the career development of British Chinese artists and organised various touring exhibitions. By the mid-1990s the CVAA instigated a complete reorganisation of the Centre and the Centre moved towards becoming a contemporary Chinese art centre. The Charlotte Street premises were no longer suitable and the Centre moved to new premises on Edge Street in 1997.

The CVAA continued as the operating company of the Centre until September 2000, when it officially changed its name to the Chinese Art Centre.

The records in this series were large found loose in the CFCCA library at the beginning of the archive project or removed from the time line series. Duplicate records were removed at this time. 

Management and Use

Conditions of Access

The original records or accessible surrogates are accessible to researchers by appointment in the CFCCA archive and library searchroom.

Conditions of Use

Records which are the copyright of the Chinese Art Centre are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License and available on the Archive & Library catalogue.

Related Content

Related People and Organisations

Chinese View Arts Association, fl.1986-2000 (describes)
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (1989-) (describes)

Related Terms

Subfonds (describes)
Open (has access status)
text (has or had some members with content of type)
two-dimensional moving images (has or had some members with content of type)
still images (has or had some members with content of type)
English (has or had some members with language)
Chinese (has or had some members with language)


Rules or conventions

Our archival collections have been catalogued following the International Standard of Archival Description (ISAD(G)) and principles of Records in Context (RiC). The library collection has been documented following the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) standard and the International Standard for Bibliographic Description (ISBD).

Subject terms for the collections have been taken from the Resource Description Access (RDA) values which are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License; the National Archives’ PRONOM online registry of technical information; IANA media types. MIME types; Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)® and Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)® which are made available under the ODC Attribution License.