Dr Sipei LU

My research scrutinizes how the relationship between socially engaged art and art institutions can reveal, critique and develop an understanding of the process and efficacy of socially engaged art. My current projects focus on co-creating with practitioners inside and outside institutions in undertaking research and knowledge sharing, acting on the opportunities, tensions and other dynamics brought by socially engaged art on curatorial models and beyond.

Email: sl432@le.ac.uk

Honorary Fellow in the School of Museum Studies (2019)


Dr. Janet Marstine and Dr. David Unwin



School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong

2019.03 –   Research fellow

School of Art Administration and Education, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

2018.03–     Adjunct lecturer


2014-2018: PhD Museum Studies, University of Leicester

2012-2013: MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies, University of Leicester

2008-2012: BA Translation and Interpreting, Beijing Foreign Studies University


Research and Curatorial Projects

The Orleans House Gallery, Richmond, London: I worked with the education team in devising and delivering regular artist workshops with a variety of audiences (2018 summer).

Researcher of 'Water System Museum: Reconstruction and Re-imagination' by Chen Jianjun and Cao Minghao at the A4 Contemporary Arts Centre in Chengdu (2015).

Guest Researcher of the academic seminar and publication 'Between Knowing and Unknowing: Research in-and-through Art' held by the Times Museum, Guangzhou (24 - 26 September, 2015).


Academic Observer of Nanting Research, an experimental art& ethnographical project in Nanting Village, Guangzhou, including the Project's exhibition at the 'Civil Power' exhibition at the Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing (25 June - 10 October, 2015).

Co-curator of 100 Stories of Migration, a photographic exhibition at the School of Museum Studies, Leicester (2014 – 2015), in partnership with the Migration Museum Project, which explores how migration affects us all.


Co-created Here and Now, a film installation for the 100 Stories of Migration exhibition, in partnership with Wen-Ling Lin, Sarah Plumb, Duncan McCauley, Media Archive for Central England and the Migration Museum Project. It was shown in the Changing Britain Festival (April 2015 – May 2015, Southbank Centre, London).


Intern at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2013), working on project research and evaluation for A Picture Show: 12 Glasgow Painters (July 2013 – January 2014) and Atelier Public #2: An Invitation to Play (February 2014 – May 2014).

Project researcher and website coordinator for Yue Minjun Studio on the exhibition project YUE MINJUN, L'OMBRE DU FOU RIRE (November 2012 – March 2013, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris).

Researcher and translator for the Today Art Museum, Beijing, on various exhibitions and publications, including Credit Suisse Today Art Award (2011) and Hero: Li Wei (2011).

Academic Roles

Teaching assistant at the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, duties including marking, research and lecturing.

Recent research projects:

Social inclusion in museums and galleries in China (2017-2018): project researcher and facilitator.

Socially Engaged Practices on-line course (2016): teaching assets (lecture and group discussion) contributor.

Censorship and Self-censorship in HK and Mainland China in Museums and Galleries (2016): research assistant.

Recent lectures and workshops: 'Freee Art Collective, Inaugural Performance – Citizen Ship' Workshop (2016); Actions in Curating (2016); Interviewing Professionals (2015); Politics and Relationships between Contemporary Chinese Art and Art Museums (2014); and Work Placement (2014).

Editor of the Museological Review, a peer reviewed journal of the School of Museum Studies, the University of Leicester, UK (2014-2015).

Secretary and session Chair of the School of Museum Studies PhD student led conference Museums Alive! Exploring How Museums Behave Like Living Beings (4-5 November 2014).



Lu, S. (2018), ‘From outside to inside: Understanding socially engaged art
through curatorial practices’,
Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, 5:2+3,
pp. 149–74.

Lu, S. (2018), 'From "Historicising" to "Participating": Research through Curating
Socially Engaged Artistic Practices.' In MacLeod, S. et al. (eds.) The Future of Museum and Gallery Design. London: Routledge, pp.200-12.

Lu, S. (2018), 'Artists as Collaborators', MUSEUM, 2:3, pp. 54-60.

Lu, S. (2017), 'Field Notes'. In: Jordan, M., Beech, D. and Hewitt, A.(eds.) The Carracci Institute Year Book. Northampton: NN Contemporary, pp. 1-63.

Lu, S. (2015), ‘Beyond Visibility: Imaginations of Institutions.’ Art Time.

Lu, S. (2014), 'On Curating.' The Art Newspaper China, May, p.18.

Lu, S. trans. (2016), ‘Remaking Artistic Practices and Curating with Political ‘Awareness.’ In Active Withdrawals: the Life and Death of Institutional Critique. London: Black Dog Publishing.

Lu, S. and Li B. trans. (2014), Active Withdrawals: the Life and Death of Institutional Critique. Shanghai: Shanghai Scientific and Technological Literature Press.

Huang, Y. and Lu S. trans. (2013), The British Museum Concise Introduction to Ancient Rome. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong University Press.

Conferences and Reports

'Sacred Cows - Questioning and interrogating museum 'truths' (Does participation truly bring about empowerment?)' Workshop, with Dr Sheila Watson, Dr Lisanne Gibson, Laura Crossley and Sarah Plumb at Museums in the Global Contemporary, Leicester, April 22, 2016.

Lu, Sipei. 'From "Historicising" to "Participating": Research through Curating
Socially Engaged Artistic Practices.' Paper presented at the 'Between the Discursive and the Immersive' conference, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, December 4, 2015.

Lu, Sipei. 'From "Field"to "Wilderness": Translation and Creation in Exhibitions.' Paper presented at the 'The Future of Museum and Gallery Design' conference, at Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, November 14, 2015.

Lu, Sipei. 'Curating the Invisible.' Paper presented at the 'Art Intervention and Social Practice' research seminar at the A4 Contemporary Arts Centre, Chengdu, May 9, 2015.

Lu, Sipei. 'Concrete Buildings and Fluid Knowledge.' Paper presented at the Launch Symposium of The Grey Vault of Heaven at A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, March 28, 2015.

Lu, Sipei and Xu Jie. ‘Working with Communities: A Wishful Thought of Curators and Artists?’ Report presented at the Museum Studio research seminar of the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, December 3, 2014.

Lu, Sipei. ‘Activism in Museums and Galleries.’ Paper presented at the research seminar for the HB Station (Contemporary Art Research Centre), Guangzhou, China, September 27, 2014.

Lu, Sipei. ‘Investigating Migration with Art: 100 stories of Migration.’  Report presented at the Museum Studio research seminar of the School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, April 2, 2014.

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