Trans-Asian Cultural Traffic
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
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Introduction: Siting Asian Cultural Flows
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This book analyses the ways in which the accelerating movement of goods, ideas, cultural products and finance in West-dominated globalisation processes have affected the framing of the transnational cultural traffic and encounters among Asian societies. The 1990s was the decade of Asia, in many senses. ...
Part I - Cultural Flows Unsettling the Category of ‘Asia’
1 - Commerce and Culture in the Pre-colonial Indian Ocean
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In ‘Different Spaces’, Michel Foucault, in 1964, developed his idea of heterotopia: ‘an ensemble of relations that define emplacements that are irreducible to each other and absolutely non superposable’. A train, apparently, is such a bundle of relations, ‘since it is something through which one passes; it is also something by which one can pass from one point to another, and...
2 - The Moving Zones of China: Flows of Rite and Power in Southeast Asia
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Every year in the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendrical year, the city of Phuket in southern Thailand is gripped by an extraordinary and feverish period that stands in marked contrast to the normally placid and familiar routines of everyday life in Thailand’s far south.1. ...
3 - It’s All in a Game: Television Formats in the People’s Republic of China
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Imagine if extraterrestrials were to land on planet Earth to conduct a fact-finding tour. One of the first tasks of the aliens would be to understand how earthlings communicate ideas. They would quickly note the centrality of terrestrial television, and after analysing the signals they might justifiably conclude that the content distributed across the spectrum reflected a degree...
4 - Taiwan’s Present/ Singapore’s Past Mediated by Hokkien Language
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With the rise of capital and the rapid expansion of consumer culture, much of the existing literature on contemporary cultural development in the newly industrialized countries in East and Southeast Asia tends to take up the generalized, often culturally xenophobic, concern with the process of ‘Westernization’.2 ...
Part II - Orientalising and Self-Orientalising: Constructions of Asian ‘Others’
5 - Self-Orientalism, Reverse Orientalism and Pan-Asian Pop Cultural Flows in Dick Lee’s Transit Lounge
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Edward Said’s 1976 book Orientalism is a study of what Xiaomei Chen has defined as ‘Western imperialist images of its colonial others’ (1995, 3), and despite being confined to the Middle East has been widely adapted as a critical paradigm for Western colonialist conceptualisations of Asia in general and Southeast Asia in particular (see, for example, Mitchell 1993). ...
6 - Imagining ‘New Asia’ in the Theatre: Cosmopolitan East Asia and the Global West
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The Asian economic crisis that took place in Southeast Asia in the closing years of the twentieth century inevitably makes us think of the future as we come to terms with the immediate past. The corporate discourses on ‘globalisation’ — an entirely inescapable buzzword in Singapore — since 1989 hegemonic presence of economic neo-liberalism. ...
7 - Time and the Neighbor: Japanese Media Consumption of Asia in the 1990s
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Over the 1990s, Japan’s gradual tilt toward Asia was clearly visible. Following a long retreat after the 1945 defeat, Japan began actively reasserting its identity as an Asian country, in response to the rising economic power of other Asian states as well as to the changing post-Cold War geopolitical landscape. ...
Part III - Dis/Empowering Negotiations in Asian Consumer Popular Culture
8 - East Asian Cultural Traces in Post-socialist Vietnam
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A group of young people are gathering excitedly outside the cinema. The boys are wearing shiny sports clothes and many have gelled hair. Several of the girls are driving the latest Honda motorbikes. Some of these teenagers have mobile phones. Some have bleached, spiked hair. This is the ‘hip’ crowd and they have come to see the latest Korean film. ...
9 - The Re-importation of Cha Yi Guan Teahouses into Contemporary China from Taiwan: Cultural Flows and the Development of a Public Sphere
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In this paper, I explore the way in which the importation into China from Taiwan of the cha yi guan teahouse has had an impact upon social and political change in Beijing. Not only do these teahouses signal a trend to return to a nostalgic ‘Chineseness’ as globalization gains speed and intensity, but they also have become the sites in which the new élites of urban China display their...
10 - Fashion Shows, Fashion Flows: The Asia Pacific Meets in Hong Kong
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Fashion is such a liquid phenomenon that it makes many of the other forms of popular culture appear comparatively stable. It continues to be Western dominated — at least in the fashion centres in Europe where big-name designers present their collections to fashion editors and photographers who fly in from all parts of the world. ...
Part IV - Postscript
11 - Participating from a Distance
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By way of a postscript to this volume, I thought it might be useful to offer some remarks on its concerns from the perspective of an Australian observer of Asian cultural flows and trans-Asian cultural traffic. As an academic living and working in Asia, I am no doubt a participant observer of these developments most of the time, but my own research is Australia-based —...
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Page Count: 284
Publication Year: 2004