Jin: Market Forces to Save Chinese Culture Abroad

In what has been a tough, somewhat awkward realization, China is just now beginning to recognize that its attempts to export its culture abroad and become a serious soft power player have fallen well below expectations. In 2011, the Chinese government announced a series of nationwide policies to promote the development of Chinese culture, in particular emphasizing the promotion of soft power products overseas, yet despite the recent abundance of Chinese cultural works exported throughout the world, the overall influence and impact of these cultural exports has been questionable at best. Chinese director Jin Tiemu is an artist that has had his work praised both at home and abroad, and he feels that the cultural differences between China and Western countries is one of the greatest barriers that exported Chinese culture needs to overcome. Jin believes that the issue is unavoidable but easy to address. “It is pretty obvious that Western people have their own preferences for cultural works. In order to reach a different audience, changes in form and delivery are understandable as long as the core idea of the work remains in place,” Jin said. Jin feels that such a compromise of operability is likely the only way for China’s cultural works to be exported successfully, and that the lack of compromise is the reason why most previous […]

Oct 10, 2015

Disney Brings Opportunity to Innovate for Chinese Competitors

Slated to open in the first half of 2016, Shanghai’s Disneyland will bring one of America’s most obvious soft power totems to China, with Mickey and crew undoubtedly gearing up to entertain the masses. But how will Disneyland be received upon its arrival? The park’s impending arrival seems to run a somewhat contradictory course to the supposed Chinese stance against Western ideology that has become something of a media meme in recent years, and some have gone as far as to call the park’s arrival “cultural invasion.” Mickey Mouse, Captain America, and an Enchanted Storybook Castle? These would certainly seem on the surface as hallmarks of American (for better or worse, the de facto standard-bearer of Western ideology) soft power and culture, so why now? Why let Disney come to China and bring all the swagger of recently-acquired Han Solo at a time when Western ideology is being demonized in some Chinese circles? As part of President Xi Jinping’s China Dream national rejuvenation plan, certain aspects of China will be needing an upgrade, and this extends to culture and services, two things that Disney does incredibly well…for a price. China seems hell-bent on trotting out the old standbys when it comes to Chinese soft power/culture: Confucius, Peking opera, pandas, and yet another Journey to the West vehicle. These are not […]

Sep 15, 2015