MA Studies > Fine art > Course structure

Fine Art Course Structure

The two-year MA Program Fine Art at HKU consists of three parallel courses that create an optimal mix of fine art practice, contextualization and modes of presentation. They are:

1.                      MAKINGExperimentation, Critical Spatial Practice

2.                      THINKING: Contextual Studies, Artistic Research 

3.                      SHARING: Curatorial Collaborations, Performative Presentations 




Starting from an experimental attitude, the goal of this course is to profoundly deepen skills, themes, and discussions relevant to Fine Art practice. The course consists of four semesters:

•   Studio Practice 

•   Spatial Practice 

•   Curatorial Practice 

•   Exhibition Practice 


1: Studio Practice (semester 1)

In this semester, you will explore the artistic image and its connotations. What exactly is an image? How do images affect the world? How can the artistic image critically relate to ubiquitous visual culture? What does the current debate about transmediality and hybrid practices mean for the laboratory-like and experiment-based concept of ‘studio’?

In this semester you will also reflect on your own mode of practice in the light of these discussions and perspectives, and explore how you want to position yourself.

2: Spatial Practice (semester 2)

Public spaces and urban cultures need novel impulses for our contemporary life. Together with professionals and students from the domain of art, architecture, and scenography you will research sites and develop novel solutions and creations through interdisciplinary dialogues.

The semester ends with a series of interventions. These could vary from radical architectural fiction, artistic intervention, to experimental practices in public inside and outside spaces.

3: Curatorial Practice (semester 3)

Nowadays, artists need to be able to develop the most suitable ways to present and disseminate their works independently. The MA Program Fine Art therefore considers curatorial reflection an important part of a contemporary research-oriented artistic practice. Attention will be given to new modes of engagement, context-responsiveness and performative presentations. The semester is developed in collaboration with leading art space BAK (Institute for the Contemporary, Utrecht). This ensures optimal interaction with professional practice and the current debate.

4: Exhibition Practice (semester 4)

The MA program Fine Art concludes with an exhibition. In this semester you will collaborate with and external curator to find a topical and experimental way to present and publish your work.

The presentation will be realized in collaboration with a professional presentation platform that offers good visibility and room for discussion about your research.




This course focuses on the development of a critical stance in intellectual and aesthetic investigation. This will prepare you to develop your own research concepts, apply topical theoretical texts from your own discipline, and use those from other disciplines. The course aims to inspire you and help you to write a research report discussing innovative insights in your discipline as well as help you develop your own perspective. 

The Critical Studies Course consists of four semesters:

Critical Studies

Concept Development

Interdisciplinary Studies

Research Report 


1: Critical Studies (Semester 1)

In this semester critical studies lecturers will present you with a variety of topical theoretical discourses and conceptual frameworks. Issues covered include the role of research as an activity, medium-specificity, artists’ writings, the position of the archive, communication models, and modes of analysis.

2: Concept Development (Semester 2)

In this research-based course we will focus on analysis and production of research concepts and discuss questions and issues such as: What is a concept? How do artists develop their concepts? How do you write a short paper while deploying found concepts? What are the classic concepts deployed in your discipline? How do concepts act as research generators?

Both semesters include two writing assignments as practical exercises for creating and deploying a conceptual framework.

3: Interdisciplinary Studies (Semester 3)

The current debate about artistic research will be central in this semester. How can we describe the method of this interdisciplinary form of thinking and knowledge production? How does artistic research relate to other forms of research such as social sciences and the humanities (and to philosophy in particular)? What role do experiment and collaboration have in this form of research? And ultimately, how can you adequately document and present the outcomes of your research?

4: Research Report(Semester 4)

In this semester you complete thewritten component of your research.You will report on the progress of your artistic production and essay research in the form of visual research presentations that include the significance of the chosen theoretical contextualization for your artistic production. With room for various try-outs and the feedback from critical discussions, youwill be able to communicate and fine-tune both your artistic production and your research essay as they progress.



The MA program Fine Art offers a stimulating and supporting environment for experimentation with multiple modes of production and collaboration.This creates an open but also critical community that maintains a continual dialogue about what we create, how we create it and why.

Every semester various dissemination projects take place that provide a distinct platform for this engaged interaction between thinking and making. These projects can take the shape of excursions, interventions, public discussions, research screenings, as well as the festival-like final presentation. 

For this final presentation we will collaborate intensively with MA program Scenography, and with the program at BAK/Research Centre for the Contemporary, Utrecht.