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Open Call | The Unlearning Curriculum 2024

Application deadline: June 20, 2024

Inform of selected participants: July 10-15, 2024

Intensive dates: August 17-23, 2024


The Unlearning Curriculum in 2024 is a five-day intensive conceived for cultural workers, artists, curators, writers and researchers who share interest in practicing different methodologies of working within art and culture. It aims at exploring methodologies based on decolonial principles, and ways of knowing that engage not only mind but also our whole body and a variety of senses. It is a process of co-learning and un-learning, and of challenging the divide of culture, nature and human.  By “staying with the trouble”, as Donna Haraway states, we may recuperate alternative literacy, tools and relations to cultivate an ecology oriented to the future.

We will spend days and nights together by sharing common space and time through learning, reflecting, making, listening led mentors but also all the participants. During these five days we will decentralize our position as urban dwellers, and address the eco-social crisis from the perspectives of practical hope, to recover the collective input of local community and knowledge.


The intensive is situated in an old village nearby Taishan in Guangdong province of China. The building has been renovated and sustained by Huan Jiajun, who is an activist of conserving the local culture. Taishan is historically home for a lot of overseas Chinese, who emigrated to north America to work as indentured workers in plantations, mines and railways in late 19th  century and early 20th century. The architecture of the village preserves such diasporic history in its synthetic style.

The intensive is conceived and initiated by Biljana Ciric and Nikita Yingqian Cai; organized by Guangdong Times Museum and “What Should/Could Curating do?”; and generously supported by De Ying Foundation. 


This intensive is a greate opportunity, if you are:

  • Interested in learning from others and from nature, and generous in sharing;

  • Willing to engage in disciplines and conversations beyond your educational or academic training;

  • Willing to share your insights and specialties with others, including but not restricted to yoga, knowledge of nature, craft-making, cooking etc.


  • A short bio including your educational background and recent experiences in cultural or social projects;

  • A short intention letter (less than 500 words) which states what you would like to learn and unlearn with others;

  • Your contact info including email, mobile and social media account.

  • Fee: 3800 RMB or 490 EUR (The fee includes meals and accommodation of the five days; transportation from your city of residence to Taishan/China is not included)


Please be noted:

  • The Unearning Curriculum is open for local and international participants;

  • The intensive will take place at Tosen’s Garden, Paobu Village, Taishan City, Guangdong, P.R. of China;

  • The working language is English;

  • All participants are expected to arrive no later than August 17th and to commit to the whole duration;

  • Further information about international or domestic travel will be provided after your enrollment is confirmed;

  • Detailed information on day-by-day activities will be notified once all participants are confirmed. Tasks for preparations will be shared and discussed by zoom meeting in

  • July;

  • After the intensive in Taishan, additional visits to independent spaces, studios and institutions in Guangzhou will be organized in the following 2 days. The visits are not part of the curriculum, and you need to plan your stay and cover your own expences in Guangzhou.

Please apply by submitting the following materials to by June 20, 2024 and visit for further information.

About mentors


Amelie Aranguren (she/her) has been a member of Inland since 2011. Campo Adentro/Inland is an association and collaborative project that approaches rural issues from an artistic perspective while addressing significant social issues and advocating for the reconnection between rural areas and cities as a basis for sustainable development strategies. She is currently the director of the Center for the Approach to the Rural, a space in Madrid where creators, curators, researchers, and rural agents can engage in production and investigative residencies, and experiment with art forms linked to social contexts and ecological perspectives. Aranguren, along with a team of nine other collaborators, has recently initiated a new association, Paisanaje Project, which explores the capacity of artistic practices in order to address the eco-social crises and inequalities generated from these issues. Aranguren has worked before in institutions as Museo Reina Sofía Madrid, Federico García Lorca Foundation, Madrid and Jeu de Paume, Paris.


Nikita Yingqian Cai lives and works in Guangzhou, where she is Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Guangdong Times Museum. She has curated such exhibitions as Times Heterotopia Trilogy (2011, 2014, 2017), Jiang Zhi: If This is a Man (2012), Roman Ondák: Storyboard (2015), Big Tail Elephants: One Hour, No Room, Five Shows (2016) , Pan Yuliang: A Journey to Silence (Villa Vassilieff in Paris and Guangdong Times Museum, 2017), Omer Fast: The Invisible Hand (2018), Neither Black/Red/Yellow Nor Woman (Times Art Center Belin, 2019), Zhou Tao: The Ridge in the Bronze Mirror (2019) and Candice Lin: Pigs and Poison (2021). She initiated the para-curatorial series in 2012 as a paratactic mode of thinking and working, which connects the curated contents of art and culture with pop-up modules of critical inquiry and field curriculum. She has maintained and expanded the research network of “All the Way South” and is the co-editor of On Our Times. She was the participant of de Appel Curatorial Programme (2009-2010) and was awarded the Asian Cultural Council Fellowship in 2019. Her writings have been published by Bard College and the MIT Press, Sternberg Press, Black Dog Publishing, Yishu, Artforum and e-flux. She is the co-editor of Active Withdrawals: Life and Death of Institutional Critique and No Ground Underneath; Curating on the Nexus of Changes.


Biljana Ciric is an interdependent curator. She is curator of the Pavilion of Republic of Serbia at 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 presenting with Walking with Water Solo exhibition of Vladimir Nikolic. She is conceiving inquiry for first Trans- Southeast Asian Triennial in Guangzhou Repetition as a Gesture Towards Deep Listening (2021/2022).


She was the co-curator of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennale for Contemporary Art (Yekaterinburg, 2015), curator in residency at Kadist Art Foundation (Paris, 2015), and a research fellow at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Høvikodden, 2016). Her recent exhibitions include An Inquiry: Modes of Encounter presented by Times Museum, Guangzhou (2019); When the Other Meets the Other Other presented by Cultural Center Belgrade (2017); Proposals for Surrender presented by McAM in Shanghai (2016/2017); and This exhibition Will Tell You Everything About FY Art Foundations in FY Art Foundation space in Shenzhen (2017).


In 2013, Ciric initiated the seminar platform From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making with focus on China and Southeast Asia. The assembly platform was hosted by St Paul St Gallery, AUT, New Zealand (2013), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2018), Times Museum, Guangzhou (2019). The book with the same name was published by Sternberg Press in 2019 and was awarded best art publication in China in 2020.

Her research on artists organized exhibitions in Shanghai was published in the book History in Making; Shanghai: 1979-2006 published by CFCCA; and Life and Deaths of Institutional Critique, co-edited by Nikita Yingqian Cai and published by Black Dog Publishing, among others.


In 2018 she established the educational platform What Could/Should Curating Do? where different formats of instituting are tested and imagined through collective processes. Since 2023 WCSCD entered transition merging rural and urban taking over custodianship of the piece of land in rural Serbia.

She was nominated for the ICI Independent Vision Curatorial Award (2012). 


Ciric initiated a long-term project reflecting on China’s Belt and Road Initiative titled As you go . . . the roads under your feet, towards a new future. She is undertaking practice based PhD in Curatorial Practice at Monash University, Melbourne.


She is currently developing retrospective of Vietnamese artist Tran Luong that will open in Jameel Art Center, Dubai in 2024 and tour to AGWA(Perth), Govett Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth, NZ), Guang Zhou Fine Arts Academy Contemporary Art Museum among others.

About Tosen's Garden

The project is located in Taishan City, Guangdong Province, which is known as the hometown of overseas Chinese. This is an ancient historical village built a hundred years ago by overseas Chinese in Myanmar. There are woods behind the village and fish ponds in front of the village, which preserves good natural ecology. There are seven residential houses built by overseas Chinese in the village, all of which are well preserved. In the first phase of the project, a 400-square-meter historic property was restored. Visitors can stay in the historic house and experience the local life more than a hundred years ago. There is an organic vegetable garden and orchard which provide local specialties.

About De Ying Foundation


De Ying Foundation (DYF) is a charitable organisation that supports contemporary art in China and internationally. We believe that contemporary art has an essential place in today’s China, and are committed to widening access to the highest standards of arts programming. We take a patient, long-term approach that is collaborative and open-minded, supporting and learning from other organisations that share our aims and values, as well as launching our own initiatives when we feel there is a need. Arts education is especially important to us, since we believe both in its inherent value and in its potential for transformative impact. While our core focus as a foundation is on greater China, we also work with international partners whose work inspires us, and hope to engender and to be part of a genuine artistic dialogue between China and the rest of the world.

De Ying Foundation has provided long-term sponsorship for the De Ying Associate Curator, Visual Arts, at M+. The foundation is Founding Patron of the Shanghai Centre of Photography and a key sponsor of the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art at China Academy of Art.


De Ying was a sponsor of the Beijing-based artist Cao Fei’s first major solo exhibition in China, “Staging the Era”, 2021, presented at UCCA, Beijing, as well as, the UCCA leg of “Who is He?”, the historical retrospective of Geng Jianyi, one of China’s pioneering conceptual artists in 2023. De Ying is the main supporter for Glen Ligon’s first UK solo exhibition “All Over the Place”, 2024, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. In 2018, we were also particularly excited to be early supporters of Steve McQueen’s Year 3 Project at Tate Britain.

De Ying Foundation also provided support in 2019 for the production of the catalogue accompanying Cecily Brown's acclaimed survey exhibition “Where, When, How Often and With Whom” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark.

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Village in Taishan, Guangdong Province of China.

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