Svetlana Kharchenkova is a lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, the School of Asian Studies. Her research focuses on the art market in contemporary China, which she approaches from the sociological perspective. She teaches courses on the society and culture of contemporary China.

Kharchenkova will defend her PhD dissertation in sociology at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, in 2017. In her dissertation, entitled “White Cubes in China: A Sociological Study of China’s Emerging Market for Contemporary Art”, Kharchenkova explores how China’s market for contemporary art has been emerging in the past several decades. In particular, it investigates how its organizational forms, such as galleries and auction houses have been established in the market, what valuation mechanisms have developed, and what shared understandings about the market overall its participants share.

For this project, she collected ethnographic data on the practices and beliefs of artists, gallerists, collectors and other participants of the Beijing art world. Kharchenkova’s PhD research was part of the large-scale project “The Globalization of High Culture: How Markets for Contemporary Art Develop in Brazil, Russia, India, and China” funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), the principal investigator dr. Olav Velthuis. Building from this work, Kharchenkova is currently working on a book manuscript. Previously, she conducted research on China’s publishing industry.

Her research interests include contemporary China, cultural sociology, economic sociology, creative industries, market emergence, valuation, globalization.

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Kharchenkova, Svetlana (2018). “The Market Metaphors: Making Sense of the Emerging Market for Contemporary Art in China”. Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts,

Kharchenkova, Svetlana (2018). “Sketching the Art Scene: the Chinese Contemporary Art World and How It Has Been Created”. A Chinese Journey. The Sigg Collection, WBOOKS, in cooperation with Het Noordbrabants Museum, the Netherlands.

Kharchenkova, Svetlana (2018). “White Cubes in China: A Sociological Study of China’s Emerging Market for Contemporary Art”. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.

Kharchenkova, Svetlana, Nataliya Komarova, and Olav Velthuis (2015). “Official Art Organizations in the Emerging Markets of China and Russia”, in: Olav Velthuis and Stefano Baia Curioni (eds.), Cosmopolitan Canvases: The Globalization of Markets for Contemporary Art, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kharchenkova, Svetlana and Olav Velthuis (2015). “Evaluative Biography of Cynical Realism and Political Pop”, in: Berthoin Antal, Ariane, Michael Hutter and David Stark (eds.), Moments of Valuation: Exploring Sites of Dissonance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kharchenkova, Svetlana (2015). Book Review of DeBevoise, Jane, Between State and Market: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era, The China Quarterly, 221, 277-278.

Velthuis, Olav and Svetlana Kharchenkova (2014). “Kleine of Grote Hans? Over Dai Hanzhi: 5000 artists in Witte de With, Rotterdam” [Little or Big Hans? About Dai Hanzhi: 5000 artists in Witte de With, Rotterdam], Review of exhibition, De Witte Raaf, nr 172. November-December 2014.

Kharchenkova, Svetlana (2010). “Spatial and Social Segregation in Chinese Cities: the ‘Urban Village’ Phenomenon”, Shilin: Leiden University Journal of Young Sinology, 1/1, 9-20. September 2010.

«Тайная дневная жизнь пекинских парков» [Secret Daily Life of Beijing Parks], Россия-Китай. XXI век. [Russia and China 21st Century], 58-60. May 2007.

«Пекин, куда ж несешься ты, дай ответ…» [Beijing, Whither Art Thou Racing? Give an Answer.], Россия-Китай. XXI век. [Russia and China 21st Century], 64-66. December 2006.


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