The Flickering of Jackie Chan: Transnational Chinese Film Stardom, Web 2.0, and the Signification of Performance

By Dorothy Wai-Sim Lau.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Transnational currency, mobile image flow and proliferation of new-media applications profoundly alter the cultural preoccupations of how stars are represented and understood. Flickr, part of the glossary of Web 2.0, has lifted barriers in the circulation of images and it invites new forces and tensions to the interplay between stars, enactment and users. Issues become riveting when considering Web 2.0 in relation to the phenomenal influx of Chinese film talents to Hollywood as a border-crossing event. Jackie Chan, a highly celebrated transnational star among others, is taken to be a case-in-point that speaks directly to the concerns of online stardom on image-sharing sites and alternative star-audience dynamics. Through posting photographs onto the site, Chan’s characteristic acrobatic presence, exceeding the film texts, is manipulated by the velocity of grass-root participation. Chan’s image is compelling yet ambivalent when hypothesized with respective to “Chinese-ness” and “global-ness” which illustrate the ways his performance agency can possibly function in participatory cultural politics. Writing Chan as a sign that entails transnational polemics in the framework of star-as-performer, this paper sheds light on re-conceptualizing stardom in electronically-mediated settings as volatile, contested and proliferating as it can ever be.

Keywords: Stardom, Sign, Performance, Web 2.0, Participatory, Transnational

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.11-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.155MB).

Dorothy Wai-Sim Lau

Student, Department of Comparative Literature, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dorothy Wai-sim Lau completes her undergraduate studies in Comparative Literature at The University of Hong Kong and her research-based Master degree in Communication at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research interests lie in chiefly cultural theory and film theory, focusing on sundry topics including transnational stardom, Chinese-language cinema, action cinema, participatory media, popular culture etc. She is, moreover, enthusiastic and vigorous to engage herself in a range of professional services and community activities like writing, translation, conferences, workshops, seminars and talks, principally in the territory. Lau is now a PhD student of The University of Hong Kong.

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