Organized Panel Session
Enlisting citizens as co-creators of a creative nation has become an increasingly appealing new mode of governmentality. The pervasive discourses that romanticize “being creative” instigate a young generation’s imagination of passionate and self-fulfilling lives. This “creative mentality” has not only stimulated new markets and new jobs; fundamentally, it permeates in the everyday lives of individuals.
In contemporary Asia, we increasingly find ourselves encountering creative practices that take place outside institutional boundaries, by the people, among the people, for the people. We see migrant painter-workers executing and displaying their oil paintings on the walls in Dafen, China; bread aficionados giving artistic depictions of their dream breads at a Tokyo bread appreciation club; women in Hai Thanh, Vietnam crafting their appearances by creatively appropriating Korean styles, or Chinese parents discussing and reinventing televised parenting techniques.
We witness the proliferation of creative practices from below. We are urged to rethink what we consider constitutive of creativity, as lived, everyday realities. Who are the aspirants of creativity in contemporary Asia? How have they emerged? What futures are they dreaming of in their creativity? How do these myriad personal dreams engage with the global ambitions of Asian countries? By probing into the everyday lives of creative aspirants, this panel seeks to unpack the all too often blackboxed notion of creativity, to look for possibilities of criticality or lines of flight out of the creativity dispositif.