IJSSH 2015 Vol.5(11): 971-975 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.589

The Void of Chineseness: Contemporary Art and Cultural Diplomacy in China

Yao Yung-Wen
Abstract—This paper looks at China’s official cultural identity that has been constructed as discourses and used as China’s soft power as reflected in contemporary Chinese art externally and internally. The Chinese Government constructed a unitary official cultural identity to ensure China’s social cohesion and national unity when communist ideology was no longer upheld as China’s central belief system after Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in 1979. “Chinese culture” has been regarded as the core of China’s soft power in exercising China’s cultural influence in the face of Western cultural imperialism in the post-Mao era in which China’s rapid economic growth has largely strengthened the nation’s confidence in asserting its position on the global stage and in holding its own world view. This paper argues that there is, however, a void behind China’s soft power. The recuperation of China’s traditional culture and Confucianism is more of a strategic political language than a return to an “authentic” cultural root.

Index Terms—Cultural identity, cultural diplomacy, soft power, contemporary Chinese art.

Yao Yung-Wen is with the Culture Film and Media Department, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK (e-mail: ajxyy1@ nottingham.ac.uk).

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Cite: Yao Yung-Wen, " The Void of Chineseness: Contemporary Art and Cultural Diplomacy in China," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 971-975, 2015.

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