Growing out of the Teaching & Research Section of Arts constructed in 1986 and Department of Art Studies set up in 1997,the School of Arts of Peking University was founded in January 11, 2006. Its present dean, Professor Ye Lang, a senior professor of philosophy and social sciences of the university, is a renowned aesthetician.
The art education has a long tradition in Peking Univeristy. Mr. Cai Yuan-pei, when served the post of president of the university, actively promoted aesthetic and art education. In January, 1917, he assumed office and set out to popularize aesthetic education. He brought up the idea of “replacing religion with aesthetic education”, gave aesthetics courses in person, undertook the compilation of General Aesthetics, organized such arts societies as “Skills of Painting Research Association”, “Calligraphy Research Association”, “Music Research Association” etc., among which “Skills of Painting Research Association” and “Calligraphy Research Association” were merged as “Plastic Arts Research Association” in August, 1922 and “Music Research Association” was renamed “Conservatory of Music” in December, 1922. Mr. Cai also engaged a galaxy of famous modern artists, including Deng Yi-zhe，Xu Bei-hong, Chen Shi-zeng, Xiao You-mei, Liu Tian-hua, Hu Pei-heng, Chen Ban-ding etc., as teachers of Peking University and instructors of students’ artistic activities. Thanks to Mr. Cai Yuanpei, Peking University was enriched with pronounced artistic ambience and established itself as a national center of aesthetic and art education.
Adhering to the major guiding principleof equally emphasizing “Tao” (humanistic connotation) and “craft” (artistic skills), theory and practice, humanistic quality education and professional education, the School of Arts of Peking University has inherited a profound tradition of art education, actively explored and improved itself in such aspects like discipline construction, quality education and construction of teaching team and so on.
The School of Arts composed of the Department of Art Studies, the Department of Musicology, the Department of Fine Arts, the Department of Movie &Television currently provides 3 BA programs, viz. movie & TV program editing and directing, art studies(including minor courses and dual degree programs of art studiesand cultural industries), and public utility management (especially arts management) , 3 MA programs, namely,art studies, film studies, art history and theory, 2 MFA programs, and 1 PhD program in the first-level discipline of Arts.
For the purpose of implementing quality education of arts as an integrated part of general knowledge in our university, the School of Arts, offering open courses and optional courses on art studiesand minor courses for dual degree programs and shouldering the responsibility of directing student art troupes of the university (including the Folk Music Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra, the Choir and the Dance Troupe), has made great contribution to advancing campus culture and construction of campus ethicalcivilization unceasingly.
The School of Arts of Peking University assembles an array of eminent Chinese and foreign artists and art educators.It now has 11 professors and 9 associate professors, among whom 8 are doctoral advisors. The School of Arts has also invited 12 distinguished experts and scholars in the field of art studies who are renowned in China, including Yu Run-yang, Shao Da-zhen, Shen Peng, Ouyang Zhong-shi, Zhong Cheng-xiang, Huang Hui-lin, Yu Ping, Wang Yao-hua, Feng Yuan, Lin Zhao-hua, Wang Wen-zhang, Ye Yu-zhong, to be visiting professorsand 8 celebrated artists with various expertise, including Zhou Shao-hua, Wang Ming-ming, Peng Li-yuan, Ye Xiao-gang, Liu Min, Wang Shi-yu, Sun Yu-min, Pu Cun-xi, to be “Artists-in-Residence”.
With its profound humanistic spirits and rich artistic aura, the School of Arts of Peking University charms students both at home and abroad. It now has more than 800 students, among whom 151 are undergraduates ( including 45 oversea students), 141 are taking dual degree program, 56 are graduate students,133 are taking MFA programs, 333 are students attending class for advanced studies and taking courses for MA degree candidates, and 26 are PhD candidates. Most of our graduates with MA or PhD degree were employed by universities or colleges, publishing houses, various important media (like CCTV, Dragon TV,Zhejiang TV, Southeast TV, Jiangsu TV and so on) or museums etc. Annually, 20% of our undergraduates and graduate students choose to study abroad and most of them enrolled in Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, New York University, London School of Economics and Political Science etc.
Aiming at a quality education service embracing all fields of culture & arts for students, the School of Arts of Peking University offers colorful courses on arts to all of them. Professors average 25 optional courses, 12 public elective courses, and 13 major courses for undergraduates annually, while associate professors and lecturers average 42 optional courses, 104 public elective courses, and 11 major courses for undergraduates annually.With their experience prudently summarized in the process of teaching, teachers of our school have compiled numerous laudable textbooks. Professor Ye Lang and Professor Peng Ji-xiang won the first and second prizes of National Award of Education respectively. Professor Peng Ji-xiang’s course, Introduction to Arts, was granted the Award for National Excellent Course. Professor Zhu Qing-sheng’s course, History of Art, won the Award for Excellent Course of Beijing City. Both Appreciation of Movie and TV by Professor Peng Ji-xiang and Implication of Artboth by Professor Chen Xu-guang won the second prize of Excellent Textbook for College of the Ministry of Education. Fifteen Lectures on History of Western Art by Professor Ding Ning won the Award of Excellent Textbook of Beijing City. Professor Ding Ning and Professor Chen Xu-guang both won the first prize for Excellent Young Teacher granted by FokYing TungEducation Foundation. Professor Li Dao-xin was selected to be subsidized by Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of the Ministry of Education. These knowledgeable teachers masterful in teaching were thought highly by their colleagues and students for their outstanding job. During the past few years, Ding Ning, Chen Xu-guang, Li Song, Bai Wei, Hou Xi-jin, Ma Qing and other teachers won Excellent Teaching Award of Peking University successively. Peng Ji-xiang, Zhu Qing-sheng, Weng Jian-qing, Li Dao-xin and Ding Ning were granted the Award for Top Ten Teachers of Peking University.
The School of Arts of Peking University also achieved brilliant accomplishment in academic research. Chinese Artistics edited by Professor Peng Ji-xiang won the first prize of the Awards to Works of Excellence on Philosophy, Social Sciences of Beijing City, China Book Award, and the second prize of the Awards to Works of Excellence granted by China Social Science Funds Projects. The Implication of Art by Professor Chen Xu-guang won the second prize of the Awards to Works of Excellence on Philosophy, Social Sciences of Beijing City. Colorful Images—the Cultural Dimension of Visual Arts by Professor Ding Ning won the second prize of the Awards to Works of Excellence on Philosophy &Social Sciences of Beijing City. A Critical History of Chinese Films and The Cultural History of Chinese Films by Professor Li Dao-xin won the first and second prizes of the Awards to Works of Excellence on Philosophy, Social Sciences of Beijing City respectively. In 2007, Professor Peng Ji-xiang was selected to direct “A Research on the System Construction of Chinese Artistic Disciplines”, a key project on art subsidized by National Social Sciences Fund Project; Professor Yu Hong was selected to direct “A Study of the Reform and Development of TV Programs of A New Age—Researching the TV Communications from a ‘Public Service” Perspective” , a key project at the ministerial level subsidized by Social Sciences Fund Project of the State Administration for Radio, Film and TV. Since 2002, over 40 academic works and over 100 acadmic articles of teachers of the School of Arts of PekingUniversityhave been published, which has attested to the superiority in academic research of art of our school.
Meanwhile, the School of Arts has constructed the Institute for Cultural Industries, Television Research Centre, and Research Institutes of Calligraphy, Beijing Opera &Kunqu Opera, Drama and the Han Brick-painting to provide teachers and students of relevant majors with significant research platforms.
In order to broadern academic horizon, strengthen specialized teaching, the School of Arts attaches great importance to international communication and cooperation. It has invited foreign experts and scholars of art studies, film &television directing as well as other majors to teach and deliver lectures to students. Since 2001, our school has already invited 30 celebrated scholars from over 20 world-famous universities like Yale University and Columbia University of the United States, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne：Paris Ⅰ, York University of Canada and so forth to deliver lectures which cover various topics like fines arts, movie &television, drama, architecture, cultural and art management and so on. Furthermore, the School of Arts has been broadening the scope of communication between Chinese and oversea students by enlarging the enrollment of oversea students and increasing the number of Chinese students visiting overseas. With colorful international academic communications, the School of Arts boosts both teaching and research of it as well as the development of relevant majors.
Intending to improve the hardware indispensable for teaching and research of art, the School of Arts of Peking University set up its own library, namely, the art branch of Peking University Library, and a non-lineal editing laboratory. The library holds more than 3,600 books in Chinese and foreign languages, about 80 periodicals published at home or abroad, more than 3,000 kinds of films and videos in DVD or VCD versions as well as music CD, over 30 kinds of slides, and graduation thesessubmitted by students taking PhD degree, MA degree, BA degree or dual degree programs of the school. In October, 2007, Peking University set up “Peking University Digital Media Teaching & Experiment Center” jointly managed and used by the School of Arts, Center for Modern Education, School of Journalism & Communication and PKUTV. The AVID Non-editing Experiment laboratory of this teaching &experiment center, which is solely used by the School of Arts, has recently purchased 15 sets of AVID MC Broadcasting Non-lineal Workstations, 2 sets of AVID HD editing devices, updated and redeveloped 5 old workstations and 2 Video Servers.It also bought a new set of AVID Central Archiving Computer System and constructed a real extensive Network Editing Environment. 5 portable High Definition integrated devices for photographing and recording and 5 sets of devices for pre-production, including multiple items such as rails, lamps and so on, were purchased additionally. The School of Arts has been formally accepted as an AAP member of the AVID, so all its students may sit for the AVID International Qualification for free and take part in the movie competition for global college students. Besides, the multi-purpose hall of the School of Arts is an IMAX digital art cinema mostly used for providing students of the school with standard High-Definition films.
In the times to come, the School of Arts of Peking University will inherit excellent education tradition, forge ahead with the spirit of “seeking truth and being practical”, redouble its effortsto boost the construction of art education and arts disciplines of a comprehensive university, increase the ratio of students visiting overseas, promote international academic communication, and cultivate leading artistic talents with international vision and original ideas. Meanwhile, the School of Arts will focus on enriching campus cultural and artistic aura of Peking Univeristy, endeavoring to make marvelous contributions in the process of constructing Peking University a world first-rate university and realizing the goal of making our motherland “a country with higher quality ofethical civilization and lofty ethical pursuit” in 2020.