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CAFAIFC 2023 Graduation Exhibition "WHAT IF" opens online
CAFAIFC 2023 Graduation Exhibition "WHAT IF" opens online

CAFAIFC (International Foundation Course, CAFA) is a one-year program which aims to prepare students for undergraduate studies in art and design areas abroad. In the past 18 years CAFAIFC has cultivated thousands of outstanding graduates to pursue their further study in our 14 prominent partner schools worldwide.

As a reflection of educational philosophy, academic quality and teaching achievements of CAFAIFC, the 2023 Graduation Exhibition "WHAT IF" showcases the 6-week final projects and portfolios of all students, covering a wide range of majors including: fine arts, visual communication, illustration, fashion design, product design, spatial design, and integrated media.

Preface of the Exhibition by Dr. Huang Li (Program Director of CAFAIFC & Deputy Dean of CAFA School of Continuing Education):


All human progress starts with asking a good question.

Many examples from history prove that every great answer originates from a brilliant question. "What if?" is a simple yet magical question that opens up endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. For instance, if nobody had ever asked "what if humans could fly like birds?" we would not have airplanes today. Similarly, if a young Einstein hadn't imagined "If I rode a beam of light through the universe, what would I see?", he wouldn't have started the theory of relativity and the atomic age. These curious and imaginative questions not only help us challenge assumptions, test boundaries, and find new ways to solve problems, but also bring breakthrough scientific progress, technological advances, or institutional changes that improve society as a whole.

People tend to prioritize the pursuit of answers over the discovery of problems. However, with the advent of super intelligence, it is more difficult and rewarding to ask a good question than to come up with an answer. A good question is the seed of innovation, the tipping point that advances our thinking, the golden key that unlocks the world, and the last thing a machine will ever learn. Regardless of whether it's about studying, working, or living, the biggest challenge is not being able to find the problem.

For this year's CAFAIFC graduation project, "question" is used instead of "proposition" for the first time. It's a big risk, but one that I think is worth taking and should be taken. With no specific project theme, where should foundation level students start in just six weeks? Beginning with the question "What if?", students are encouraged to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and beliefs, imagine alternative realities and possibilities that may exist outside of the known world or prior experience, and find exciting outlets for self-expression by questioning conventional wisdom. Although the works presented in the graduation exhibition may not be mature or perfect answers, the questions raised by the students are all novel and different, which is very exciting and gratifying for me. Compared to feeling lost and uncertain at the starting point, the curiosity and experimental spirit aroused in the end by "What if...?" will give students creative wings to go beyond the routine and explore bravely.

Welcome to visit the exhibition at and witness the wonderful achievements of CAFAIFC students!

The website of CFAIFC:


List of CAFAIFC partner schools:

  1. California College of the Arts (CCA)
  2. School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
  3. School of Visual Arts (SVA)
  4. Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA)
  5. Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  6. Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD
  7. University of the Arts London (UAL)
  8. University of Leeds (UL)
  9. Kingston University of London (KUL)
  10. University for the Creative Arts (UCA)
  11. Teesside University (TU)
  12. Arts University Bournemouth (AUB)
  13. Birmingham City University (BCU)
  14. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
Zhu Pei was honored as UC Berkeley “2023 CED Distinguished Alumni Award”
CAFA holds 2023 postgraduate works exhibition in Beijing