The Ghost Seer: Chinese Thai Minority Subjectivity, Female Agency, and the Transnational Uncanny in the Films of Danny and Oxide Pang
2016. "The Ghost Seer: Chinese Thai Minority Subjectivity, Female Agency, and the Transnational Uncanny in the Films of Danny and Oxide Pang", Ghostly Desires: Queer Sexuality and Vernacular Buddhism in Contemporary Thai Cinema, Arnika Fuhrmann
Download citation file:
Chapter 2 investigates a shift in the intersection of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity in Thailand. This analysis of the anachronisms of haunting in the 2002 Hong Kong–Thai coproduction The Eye sheds light on the recent transformation of Chinese femininity from denigrated minority identity to trans-Asian, cosmopolitan ideal. The film tells the story of an involuntary, Buddhist-coded seeing that occurs when a Hong Kong woman receives a corneal transplant from a Chinese Thai woman. It is through this motif of prosthesis that the film gauges the commensurability of Chineseness across Southeast and East Asia. Buddhism becomes a transcultural formation that supplies essential knowledge for everyday coping and provides a map for coming to terms with loss across Asia. Significantly The Eye shows minority injury to be a matter of female agency as well as one that has to be approached transnationally. In the film women’s desires are largely directed toward historical agency.