Impressions of China : Zhang Yimou's outdoor theme productions

Zhang, Danqing (2010) Impressions of China : Zhang Yimou's outdoor theme productions. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis examines contemporary mediated spectacles used in regional tourism strategies. In recent years there has been growing occurrence of ‘formatted entertainment models’ in China. With this in mind, this thesis explores the ways in which traditional cultural resources are being converted to generate diverse, hybrid commodities. The unique business model of Zhang Yimou, known as the Impression Series provides the case study. The thesis examines multilayered representations of products which continuously form, and are formatted, under the logic of the cultural market. The case study highlights the revival of traditional Chinese culture, a new branding of the Chinese national image and rising ‘soft power’. Primarily, the thesis argues that personal celebrity endorsement is replacing political propaganda heroes in promoting an alternative image of China. Zhang Yimou and Impression West Lake function as a dual branding mechanism that combines ‘people marketing’ and ‘place marketing’ for the development of a ‘created in China’ cultural commodity as well as for the generation of positive economic outcomes. Secondly, the thesis identifies how natural resources linked with a local tourism industry are articulated into cultural products and how this is experienced by visitors. Culture is a core component of China’s ‘soft power.’ Cultural experience’ strategies such as Impression combine global marketing and local cultural forces. The thesis argues that a creative entrepreneur has more advantages in promoting ‘soft power’ than governmental propaganda strategies. Thirdly, Impression West Lake encapsulates the rise of the creative entrepreneur with the help of local government authorities. Even though government cultural policy-makers can facilitate the cultural infrastructure, they ultimately rely on the entrepreneur’s creative vision and understanding of the market. Finally, based on the study of Impression West Lake, the thesis outlines future opportunities for social, cultural and economic reform in China.

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ID Code: 49875
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Keane, Michael
Keywords: soft power, national identity, creative models, cultural resources, creative entrepreneur
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 24 Apr 2012 07:17
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2015 06:08

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