The University of York has welcomed it first two scholars sponsored by a new foundation to promote cultural links between the UK and China.
The Jiangning Foundation was established last year in memory of Jiangning Wang, who was a student in the University’s Department of History of Art, before her tragic death in November 2009.
The Foundation’s first activity was to sponsor MA Scholarships for Chinese students in the History of Art Department at York. The first Jiangning scholars – Kuang Sheng, and Yingcun Jin – are now settling in at the University.
Yingcun suspended her Masters course the University of Peking, when she successfully applied for a Jiangning scholarship to study the MA programme at York where she is focusing on a range of artistic periods. She intends to return to her course at Peking on completion of her studies at York. Yingcun gained a First Class honours degree in Chinese, and Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong.
Kuang was previously at the University of Loughborough, where she studied an MA in Media and Cultural Analysis. A growing interest in postmodern visual art prompted her desire to study art history and, at York where Kuang is focusing on modern and contemporary art. She graduated from Hunan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English but she is no stranger to York. She was an exchange student for a year at York St John University during her studies at Hunan.
The head of History of Art at York, Professor Mark Hallett, said: “Jiangning was one of the first people from mainland China to study art history at York, and we hope that Yingcun and Kuang are the first of many more Chinese students who will follow in her footsteps. The Jiangning Foundation offers wonderful opportunities for British and Chinese students and scholars.”
The Jiangning Foundation is intended to contribute to a range of cultural exchanges, including student scholarships, academic visits and building relationships between cultural organisations in the UK and China.”
Yingcun said: “Members of staff here are very friendly and helpful, which makes me feel at home and warm in heart. The sight of York and the University, especially where I live in Wentworth College is one of the best views I have ever seen in my life, and I really enjoy staying in this campus with such great atmosphere!”
Kuang said: “York for me is a quite fascinating place with the beautiful scenery and historical significance! I am really inspired by the academic atmosphere at the University of York and enjoy my various discussions with both tutors and students from different cultural and social backgrounds around the world. I think I will definitely have a fantastic year at the University of York."
The Foundation is designed to promote world-leading teaching and research in the field of Asian-European artistic exchange, and to provide a scholarly forum for art-historians and students from both East and West.
Notes to Editors:
More about the Department of History of Art at the University of York at www.york.ac.uk/history-of-art/