The Cultural Revolution of China’s Maoist era has come and gone, yet another cultural revolution of a different sort has been sweeping through China in the 1990s. Although recently much interest has been focused on China’s economy, few Westerners are aware of the remarkable transformations occurring in the culture of ordinary people’s daily lives. In China’s New Cultural Scene Claire Huot surveys the wide spectrum of art produced by Chinese musicians, painters, writers, performers, and filmmakers today, portraying an ongoing cultural revolution that has significantly altered life in the People’s Republic.
Western observers who were impressed by the bravery of the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square—and stunned at the harshness of their suppression—will learn from this book how that political movement led to changes in cultural conditions and production. Attending to all the major elements of this vast nation’s high and low culture at the end of a landmark decade, Huot’s discussion ranges from the cinematic works of Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, and others to emerging musical forms such as rock, punk, and rap. Other topics include television, theater, and avant-garde art, the new electronic media, and subversive trends in both literature and the visual arts.
With a comprehensive index of artists and works, as well as a glossary of Chinese words, China’s New Cultural Scene will enlighten students of Chinese culture and general readers interested in contemporary Asia.