To probe the proliferation of Chinese masculinity and the dynamic power relation between Hong Kong and mainland China from the 1980s to 1990s, my proposed research focuses on the martial arts culture of these two regions over the span of twenty years. Apart from primarily examining Hong Kong and mainland China martial arts cinema, this research also analyzes other unvalued cultural practices related to martial arts and the political construction of the Chinese masculine body, such as comics and magazines. The various martial arts materials show that the disciplined male body in Chinese popular culture not only responds to the aestheticization of a western-oriented male body in the context of global image-exchange but also reflects upon the fluctuated nationalist narratives that were permeating both mainland China and Hong Kong. Hence, through examining the transnational interaction among various market-driven agents of martial arts culture, including cinema and print media, I want to reconsider the tension of “center and peripheral” in the geographical and cultural sense and propose a more integrated perspective to explore the economic, political, and social exchange between Hong Kong and mainland China in the post-Mao era.
Current Research Projects
Over Rivers and Mountains: The Roving Martial Arts Culture between Hong Kong and Mainland China, 1980s-1990s