Branding satire, being alternative : locating queerness in the videos of Hong Kong media artist Yuen Pui Man

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Abstract

This paper is the first of a series that focuses on specific independent media artists in Hong Kong who, since the 1990s, have produced cultural texts that interrogate social issues and political concerns including cultural policies, sexual rights, gender politics and social justice. Locating the historical context in cultural representations of genders and sexualities within independent media productions can help us to understand current interests and debates on sexual politics in Hong Kong. The aim of this article is to provide a queer reading of selected works and artists in order to explain Hong Kong sexual politics, prior to the current heightened visibility of LGBT rights, when cultural inter¬ventions were critical and complex. For this purpose, rather than embracing local policies and discourses that are relevant today, there is a need to revisit the production and representation of sexual meanings and policies in a historical context. This essay focuses on the videos of the Hong Kong independent queer media artist, Ellen Yuen Pui-Man, and examines how she developed a mode of satire to deal with political issues and cultural concerns during the pre-1997 era before the city's handover to China. Ellen Yuen Pui- Man was born in 1968 and grew up frustrated with the homogenization of society. During her youth, she was an avid follower of arthouse cinema, experimental and avant-garde films at film festival screenings. She chose experimental film as an outlet to produce videos that stood in resistance to life as “one smooth narrative.” She sees video art as a potential area for creating an alternative configuration of life, particularly because the experimental form allows abstract notions of emotions to be played with.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChinese identities on screen
EditorsKlaus Mühlhahn, Clemens von Haselberg
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherLIT Verlag
Pages111-126
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783643902702
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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Keywords

  • Hong Kong -- Anthropology & Sociology -- Women
  • Hong Kong -- Arts -- Cinema
  • sexual politics
  • lesbians
  • video art
  • representation of sexual meanings and policies in a historical context

Cite this

TANG, T. S. D. (2012). Branding satire, being alternative : locating queerness in the videos of Hong Kong media artist Yuen Pui Man. In K. Mühlhahn, & C. V. Haselberg (Eds.), Chinese identities on screen (pp. 111-126). LIT Verlag.