China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Being Who? Production of “Overlapping” Transnational Asian Images in Chinese TV Drama

Saturday, July 7
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Cypress, New Building

The recent Chinese TV drama Delicious Destiny (meiwei qiyuan, 2017) reflects an important geographic shift in Chinese cultural policies in Film and TV sectors. After ceasing cooperation with Korea due to the so-called “ban on Korean pop stars,” China’s TV entertainment companies have turned to pop stars from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing latent cultural bonds associated with the “One Belt One Road” regions. Delicious Destiny was the first Chinese TV drama to feature a Thai actor, Mike D’Angelo (real name: Pirat Nitipaisalkul), as a leading role in this period. In this TV series, Mike was portrayed a rich Chinese young man from modern Shanghai named Li Yuzhe. To establish a fantasy connection with a geographical imaginary of Thailand, the narrative revolves around Yuzhe, whose father had worked in Thailand where he sired an unknown and illegitimate son. In the finale, Yuzhe forces his family to accept his half-brother, embodying traditional Chinese family values of filial piety and brotherly bond, an imagined brotherhood with Thailand, implying China’s strategic cultural prominence in the region. This series reflects China’s moves towards cultural connections across Southeast Asia. This undertaking is also be revealed by the recent establishment of South Film and TV in Guangdong, a key locale on the south route of “One Belt One Road” initiative. Through a critical analysis of the series and the foundation of a new studio, this paper explores China’s readiness to “face south,” and establish the proposed cultural-maritime Silk Road.

Xi Chen

South China University of Technology, China (People's Republic)

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1 - Being Who? Production of “Overlapping” Transnational Asian Images in Chinese TV Drama



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