Haili Ma awarded £1 million grant for research project with Shanghai Theatre Academy

Haili Ma awarded £1 million grant for research project with Shanghai Theatre Academy

Dr Haili Ma secured the research funding after successfully submitting a research bid to the UK-China Arts Humanities and Research Council Newton Fund, Development through the Creative Economy in China.

The three year project, ‘Popular Performance for new urban audiences; reconnecting M50 creative cluster with Shanghai All-Female Yue Opera’ will engage new urban audiences with traditional Chinese opera through the digital mediation of performance into a heritage site in Shanghai.

It will focus on Shanghai All-Female Yue Opera and reviving its historical connection to the Shanghai M50 contemporary arts creative cluster. The project will explore how this nature of engagement with traditional forms may provide opportunities to enhance small and medium enterprise business, in partnership with the public sector, establishing a ‘creative chain’ that will enhance the diversity and sustainability of Shanghai’s urban creative economy.

Dr Ma, UK lead investigator on the project said, “The success of the bid is a result of great team work between academic colleagues and industrial partners in the UK and China. I am delighted that the project is to be embodied in the School which has the perfect research environment to ensure the maximised outcome of the joint project.”

Professor Nick Kaye from the University of Exeter is co-investigator on the project. The China Principle Investigator is Professor Huang Changyong, Chair in Creative Economy and The President of Shanghai Theatre Academy.

The project will include a series of workshops, a documentary film, and two major international conferences taking place at Shanghai Theatre Academy and in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries.

£500k of funding has been awarded from the Newton Fund, with £250k from Arts and Humanities Research Council and £250k from Shanghai Theatre Academy. An additional contribution of £690k from the project partners, which are Shanghai Yue Opera House, Shanghai Xiaoya Yue Art Studio, Shanghai M50 Creative Music Bar and Suzhou Tiangong Design and Merchandise Ltd.

This is the first and largest fund that the Arts and Humanities Research Council has invested in relating to China creative economy across three key areas: Design, Heritage, and The Creative and Performing Arts, aiming to bridging in-depth collaboration in the field of creative economy between China and UK.