This publication is the result of Xu Tan's Keywords School-Qingdao project, held at the Cowin Global industrial park in Qingdao, Shandong, China. Keywords School is an ongoing project that investigates the collective consciousness of Chinese society through detailed analysis of the vocabulary of individuals. Based on recorded interviews with company employees, in which they were asked about their feelings working for a foreign-invested company and their lives in the Pingdu area where the company is located, 115 keywords were identified for further discussion in a series of workshops led by Xu Tan. Participants were given a list of the keywords and instructed to use different coloured pens to underline words they felt were relevant to them. They were then asked to explain their choice of keywords and the colours they assigned to them. The introduction of colour, which the artist believes can serve as a bridge for deciphering the significance of keywords, distinguishes Keywords School-Qingdao from previous iterations and is the main focus of this book.

Alternative title

Xu tan: ke yun de ci

Access level


Location code

Chinese - Simplified, 


Publication/Creation date


No of pages




No of copies


Content type

artist monograph

Chapter headings

Part One: Introduction - WANG Jing, 王景

Part Two: Keywords of Cowin Global I
K-keywords: the effable and the analysis of consciousness

Part Three: Keywords of Cowin Global II
The workshops: 15 K-keywords, associated words, and examples

Part Four: Keywords of Cowin Global III
K-keywords and the ineffable, and a comprehensive analysis

Part Five: Appendix

'Eight,' Collectivism, and 'Sub-beliefs' - XU Tan, 徐坦

Unpiloted and Unidentified - HE Cong, 賀聰

Xu Tan: Keywords of Cowin Global
Rights statement

In Copyright

What does this mean?

This item is covered by one or more copyrights. It is available for research only or use within Hong Kong’s fair dealing rules. Please do not copy, re-use or reproduce this item without the permission of the copyright holder.


Xu Tan: Keywords of Cowin Global, 徐坦:「科雲」的詞

Relevant content

Shortlist | Archiving as an Asian Art Practice
Shortlist | Archiving as an Asian Art Practice

Shortlist | Archiving as an Asian Art Practice

Recommended readings on archival art in Asia