Arts and Culture
The present research will be focusing on the topic of the „craze for going abroad“ (出国热Chuguore)，meaning the migration of many contemporary Chinese artists to the West in the 1990s and their later return into the Chinese context. In order to explain this, I will begin by defining the situation in 90’s China, and what created this craze. Then I will observe the consequences of these cultural flows and backflows themselves and how they impacted both the Western and the Chinese cultural spheres in complex and non-univocal ways. In fact I mean to discuss the reception that the artists got both in the US and in China. In the first instance, in the US it tended towards an orientalistic interpretation of their work. In the second case, the reception in China came sometimes close to rejection in some cases, such as with the creation of the term Banana People (香蕉人 Xiangjiaoren), as a slur to be used against the returning Chinese artists from abroad, meaning people who look asian but are „white inside.“ I will thus conclude by pointing out how these cultural flows are not unilateral, but create a complex tapestry of impacts on all involved cultures.