Arts and Culture
This panel sheds new light on the distinctiveness of the 1960s in the Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong through a scrutiny of selected pivotal cultural and political events in these locales – the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese–Western cultural debate in Taiwan, the 1967 riots and the arrival of the Swinging Sixties in Hong Kong, regarding them as indices of re-periodizating the 1960s in these three Chinese-speaking areas. The significance of this panel is threefold. It de-centers the dominant position of the US and Europe in existing research on the 1960s and draws scholarly attention to the overlooked “Chinese perspectives” and the role of the trans-border, trans-cultural and trans-ideological interactions between the localities and the world. As a contributory factor in re-defining the concept of the 1960s, they are as important as the dominant “US-Europe” perspective.
Pu Wang’s paper examines Maoist China’s involvement with third-worldism, Southeast Asian communism, the anti-War movements in US and Europe and discusses Western interpretation and redefinition of Maoism in order contextualize the issue of the re-periodization of the Chinese 1960s in the setting of Maoist internationalism during the Cultural Revolution. Pei-yin Lin’s paper examines the evolvement of Chinese-Western cultural debate in the Taiwanese journal Literary Star, exploring its intra-China-HK-Taiwan connections, its anti-American discourse, and the impact of this liberal campaign/debate in the 1960s authoritarian Taiwan. Mary Suk-han Wong’s paper investigates the dissemination of the Swinging Culture from London to Hong Kong and its reception by examining Hong Kong cinema and its related products in the 1960s when the British Beatles came to Hong Kong, as a sign of the advent of Swinging culture in the colony. By examining the Cultural Revolution discourse in two youth and student journals, Shuk Man Leung’s paper reveals the local application of Maoism in constructing a local Hong Kong identity through a series of anti-colonialist nationalist movements after the 1967 riots and illustrates how the identity forming process occurred at the intersection between local ideological hybridization and global spread of Maoism.
By presenting China, Taiwan, Hong Kong side-by-side, the four papers aim at providing a critical understanding of the forgotten voices and experiences of these local situations starting in the 1960s and extending to the mid-1970s. They, too, recast the notion of the 1960s through a demonstration of the complicated geographical and chronological classification of this iconic period in the three Chinese-speaking societies.