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Transnational media production from the margins of “Cultural China”: the case of Singapore’s media producers

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>19/09/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Inter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number5
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)744-760
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The rise of the PRC as a producer of mass culture marks a reconfiguration of “East Asian Popular Culture” as media producers are now actively seeking opportunities to enter the Mainland Chinese market. While the implications of this trend for the media industries of Taiwan and Hong Kong are well-documented, Singapore’s participation in this cultural formation remains comparatively understudied. Often deemed by their Chinese counterparts as lacking in sociocultural capital and production niches, why and how do Singapore’s producers navigate their ventures into the Mainland Chinese market? Drawing on interviews with key Singaporean producers situated in different locales (Singapore production companies venturing into China; Singaporean productions reproduced for the Chinese market; and individual Singaporean producers exploring such opportunities), this article teases out the processes of marginalization and power as understood and experienced by those residing in the margins of “Cultural China.” By exploring what these mean for Singapore’s producers as they navigate cultural capital, power and identity from the margins of an emerging cultural superpower, this article interrogates relations between global, national and regional forces as manifested in producers’ subjectivities in the era of the “rise of China.” My thesis is that the experiences of these transnational Singaporean media producers are characterized by a paradoxical combination of the de-nationalizing of production and re-politicizing of national imaginations, the everyday manifestations of which continually rehearse and further engender tensions between the self and the other.