Jean Ma is Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Stanford University. She is the author of
From Shanghai to Hong Kong
After the Pacific wars and the breakup of the Shanghai-based film industry, the songstress reemerged in postwar Hong Kong. This chapter describes the industry developments that led to Hong Kong’s rise as an epicenter of Mandarin popular music and movies in the 1950s and 1960s, ushering in an era of modern images and sounds for transpacific diasporic Chinese audiences. Film musicals in this era built upon prewar conventions and further cemented the equation between femininity and lyrical expression. They also developed in new directions, within the context of a vibrant, polyglot culture of music. Film songs flourished in this period bookended by the Chinese jazz age and the era of rock ‘n’ roll.