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Title: The construction of an ethnic Chinese identity in Hong Kong Kung Fu films.
Authors: Yeo, Ronnie See Heng.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: This dissertation argues that these films contribute to the construction of Chinese identity in two ways. Firstly, the films show the Chinese rebutting Orientalist clichés while asserting Chinese values. Secondly, the films show the Chinese reflecting upon their values and recognizing a need to reinvent some of these values to adapt to their respective societies, thus actively constructing a Chinese identity.
In the introduction to the book Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge, D. S. Farrer and John Whalen-Bridge indicate that "the term ‘martial art’ signifies ‘Eastern’ and can be accessed to champion, as a counterdiscourse to effeminizing Orientalist clichés1, the contemporary paradigmatic image of the Asian-yet-masculine martial arts icon (think Bruce Lee)" (2). Here, Farrer and Whalen-Bridge implies that besides martial art, film is also an important aspect of such a discourse, as Lee becomes such an icon by becoming a martial arts film star firstly in Hong Kong and then internationally. Indeed, the scene in Fist of Fury (1972) when Bruce Lee's character, Chen Zhen, destroys a sign reading "No Dogs and Chinese allowed" with a jump kick is an example of the counter-discourse Farrer and Whalen-Bridge discusses. The physical dominance of the Chinese hero challenges the cliché that they are passive and feminine (Said 138). The success of the film, both domestic and international, gives the Chinese community a hero to cheer for while telling the global community that the Chinese will no longer stand to be oppressed by the colonial powers.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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