China Perspectives 2019/3

SPECIAL FEATURE

Sinophone Musical Worlds (1): Circulations of Sounds, Affects and Identities

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Special Feature

Editorial – Including Music in the Sinophone, Provincializing Chinese Music Page 3

Nathanel Amar

“The Song of Selling Olives”: Acoustic Experience and Cantonese Identity in Canton, Hong Kong, and Macau across the Great Divide of 1949 Page 9

Nga Li Lam

ABSTRACT: This essay looks into the cultural identity and acoustic experience shared among Canton, Hong Kong, and Macau through “The Song of Selling Olives,” a piece from Siu Yuet Pak – a 1950 Cantonese opera adaptation of Flame of Lust, a 1948 story broadcasted in Canton (as Guangzhou was known in the Republican era) that soon become a household name across the region. By means of archival research and close-reading, I will explicate ways in which the song appropriates the cultural icon of Siu Yuet-pak and re-invents the tradition of “selling olives,” projecting the boundary-crossing experience among the three Cantonese-speaking areas in a time of frequent exchanges, occasional competition, and potential disconnection from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.
KEYWORDS: Stories on air, radio, Cantoneseness, Cantonese song, popular music, selling olives.

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“Eating Hanness”: Uyghur Musical Tradition in a Time of Re-education Page 17

Amy AndersonDarren Byler

ABSTRACT: In February 2019, two major musical performances by residents of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were widely circulated on Chinese social media. These two performances, one a Mekit County Harvest Gala and the other a performance by a Uyghur school teacher from Qumul, featured Uyghurs dressed in Han cultural costumes performing Beijing Opera. Over the past five years, since the “People’s War on Terror” started, the space for Uyghur traditional song and dance performance has deeply diminished. Simultaneously, the space for Uyghurs performing Hanness through Chinese traditional opera and Red songs has dramatically increased. Drawing on open source Uyghur and Chinese-language media, ethnographic fieldwork, and interviews with Uyghurs in diaspora, this article analyses the changing role of music in Uyghur religious and ritual life by tracing the way state cultural ministries have dramatically increased their attempts to separate Uyghur music from its Sufi Islamic origins in order to produce a non-threatening “permitted difference” (Schein 2000). Since 2016, the re-education campaign of the Chinese government on Uyghur society has intensified this disconnection by promoting an erasure of even the state-curated “difference” of happy, exoticized Uyghurs on stage. Han traditional music is now replacing Uyghur traditional music, which shows an intensification of symbolic violence toward Uyghur traditional knowledge and aesthetics. In a time of Uyghur re-education, musical performance on stage has become a space for political rituals of loyalty to a Han nationalist vision of the Chinese state.
KEYWORDS: Uyghur, native music, Xinjiang, symbolic violence, re-education.

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The Shanghai Conservatory of Music and its Rhetoric: Building a World Class Musical Institution with Chinese Characteristics Page 27

Eugénie Grenier Borel

ABSTRACT: The Shanghai Conservatory of Music has as its principal mission the production of world class performers of “Western classical music” through a highly competitive training programme. This process of “globalisation” involves measures that are more explicit and more developed than in European or North American conservatories. The apparent absence of culturally-specific differences in this globalised model is more subtle than meets the eye, however. The globalisation is only partial, targeted, and above all accompanied by a form of appropriation involving two distinct mechanisms: the one devoted to the development and transmission of a standardised international performance technique, and the other concerned with the composition of pieces with particular Chinese characteristics, putting a nationalist discourse into music.
KEYWORDS: Shanghai Conservatory, Western classical music, globalisation, institutional rhetoric, nationalism, songs.

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“Bang Bang Bang” – Nonsense or an Alternative Language? The Lingualscape in the Chinese Remake of I am a Singer Page 37

Tian Li

ABSTRACT: Through examining the Chinese remake of the Korean television program I Am a Singer, I explore the questions of how a Chinese musical television reality show performs and represents the newly rising aesthetic demands for de-territorialising what I term the “lingualscape,” the shifting landscape of languages intermingled with and liberated from standardised national languages; and how it interplays with affective negotiation in the practices of translation or transplantation within the context of cultural de-territorialisation. This Sino-Korean musical TV program demonstrates nonethnic-centred imaginings across national and state-sanctioned ideological boundaries. The lingualscape performs affective negotiation and rises above the official lingual system, a process through which sincere communication becomes possible in a digital time.
KEYWORDS: China, Korea, K-pop, lingualscape, remake, musical television program, politics of language, affective negotiation.

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Article

The Politics of Imagining Formosa: Contesting Multiculturalism, Tradition, and Historical Memory in Ten Years Taiwan Page 47

Justin Wu

ABSTRACT: This article draws on the film Ten Years Taiwan (2018) to identify three side-lined yet pressing issues that contemporary Taiwanese society has to address: the dilemma of multiculturalism, the preservation of traditions, and the status of historical memory. Unlike Hong Kong’s Ten Years (2015), which focuses on political and cultural tensions between China and Hong Kong, Ten Years Taiwan emphasises the everyday experiences of different groups of people in Taiwan, such as aborigines, migrant workers, and those living in the countryside. Through the lived experiences of these populations, while indirectly addressing related political problems, Ten Years Taiwan challenges its audiences to reconceptualise the meaning of a “Taiwanese” society, prompting questions on how Taiwan as a society should proceed.
KEYWORDS: Taiwan, multiculturalism, ethnicity, tradition, memory, Ten Years.

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Current Affairs

The Involvement of Planners in Community Planning: A Promising Model for Chinese Local Governance? Page 55

Liao LiaoChong ZhangJianfeng Feng

ABSTRACT: Participatory governance has become a mode of governance around the world since the 1990s, including in non-democratic contexts. Since November 2002, the notion of participatory governance has indeed been appropriated by the Chinese authorities after the 16th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since 2010, numerous experiments in participatory governance have been implemented in China, from participatory budgeting to participatory planning. This essay studies the specific development of participatory governance in China through the role of urban planners. It will first discuss the context of the development of public participation at local levels, while analysing the emergence of participatory planning and its implications. Furthermore, it will analyse the role of planners in participatory planning. Then, it will focus on the transformation of local governance, especially in the case of community governance. In the final sections, the article will discuss planner-mediated participation and reflect on more academic thoughts on the model. It will conclude with a discussion on Chinese participative experiments.
KEYWORDS: Participation, community governance, planners, urban planning.

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A Brief Genealogy of Hanmai Page 63

Ge ZhangJian Xu

Film review

WANG, Bing 王兵. 2018. Dead Souls (Si Linghun 死靈魂). Page 69

Judith Pernin

Book Reviews

LING, Wessie, and Simona SEGRE-REINACH. 2018. Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape. Page 71

Sabine Chrétien-Ichikawa

DAI, Jinhua. 2018. After the Post-Cold War: The Future of Chinese History. Page 72

Jessica Yeung

WELLAND, Sasha Su-Ling. 2018. Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art. Page 73

Doris Sung

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