"They Are Married to kunqu"—Cultural Studies Inspired by a Chinese Traditional Theatre

CHEN Lin
2017 Journal of Literature and Art Studies  
 In recent decades, a new type of cultural upsurge surrounding kunqu 1 has arisen in Chinese language sphere, though respectively due to different reasons in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Chinese diaspora. Against the global trend of culture heritage nationalization context, via the new media platform, the performative staging of individual emotions and reverie in the market society 2 , the longings to redeem various alienation in a vertical modernity 3 , as well as the yearnings
more » ... ll as the yearnings for emotional balance in a burgeoning feministic modernity, all integrate with each other and together generate a restless transforming memory for kunqu. Just like a misty veil, this complex, contentious, contradictory and long-lasting collective memory-making process blurs kunqu's appearance, expands its layers, and ultimately generates a cultural myth. With detailed case studies this paper aims to reflect upon the deep reasons for the kunqu myth and to probe the transformative powers of a performative space in enabling remembrance and/or forgetting. Prologue The year 2012 is the "Chinese Culture Year" in Germany. The organizers put forward the claim that authentic traditional Chinese culture would be presented. With regards to this claim the Jiangsu kunqu Ensemble was invited to perform three authentic "Zhe-zi Xi 4 / One Act kunqu" as part of the opening ceremony in February, and Luzia Braun, the "Stellvertretende Leiterin des ZDF-Kulturmagzins Aspekte" was invited as the moderator. The performance lasted two nights in Konzerthaus Berlin.
doi:10.17265/2159-5836/2017.03.006 fatcat:x5z7hl6jerh5jegbuc57rjore4