Toward an aesthetic of weightlessness: Qinggong and Wire-fu

White, Luke (2017) Toward an aesthetic of weightlessness: Qinggong and Wire-fu. In: RoCH Fans and Legends. lok, susan pui san, ed. QUAD / Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Derby / Manchester. ISBN 9780995461109

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Abstract

This essay examines the aesthetics of wirework in Hong Kong and Chinese swordplay (wuxia) cinema, primarily since the 1980s. This is read as entailing a fantasy image of freedom. It contrasts the lightness of the wuxia body, characteristically represented in flight, to the materiality and weight of the "kung fu" body, as depicted during the "classic" period of the "kung fu craze" in the 1970s. This is analysed in terms of different ideas of how gender might be negotiated through the body in cinematic martial arts performance, and as a metaphor of the weight or weightlessness of (postcolonial, diasporic and other) cultural experience of identity under globalisation.

The essay is a part of a catalogue – published online as an ebook – to correspond with the solo exhibitions of the artist susan pui san lok's body of work "RoCH Fans and Legends," at QUAD, Derby (19 September – 15 November 2015) and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (3 June – 3 July 2016). This was supported by funding from the Arts Council England, Middlesex University and the University of Salford.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: ISBN 978-0-9954611-0-9 ISBN 978-0-9576332-4-7
Keywords (uncontrolled): action cinema, Chinese cinema, Hong Kong cinema, kung fu films, swordplay films, martial arts performance, wuxia, globalization, postcolonial, diaspora, identity, gender, masculinity, the body, fantasy, Jin Yong, Frantz Fanon, fandom, aesthetics of film, digital culture, immateriality and the image.
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Diasporas
A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 24696
Notes on copyright: As stated on its colophon, the ebook is published on Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) license, with texts remaining (c) of the authors, 2016.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Luke White
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 10:11
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2018 05:56
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24696

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