Re-constructing Asianness in Australia : Yumi Umiumare, Owen Leong, and the remobilisation of monstrosity

Hadley, Bree J. (2011) Re-constructing Asianness in Australia : Yumi Umiumare, Owen Leong, and the remobilisation of monstrosity. Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, 7(3), pp. 1-13.

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In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Australia’s relationship with its Asian neighbours has been the subject of ongoing aesthetic, cultural and political contestations. As Alison Richards has noted, Australia’s colonial legacy, its Asia-Pacific location, and its ‘white’ self-perception have always made Australia’s relations with Asia fraught. In the latter part of the twentieth century, the paradoxes inherent in Australia’s relationships with and within the Asian region became a dominant theme in debates about nation, nationhood and identity, and prompted a shift in the construction of ‘Asianness’ on Australian stages. On the one hand, anxiety about the multicultural policy of the 1970s and 1980s, and then Prime Minister Paul Keating’s push for greater economic, cultural and artistic exchange with Asia via policies such as the Creative Nation Cultural Policy (1994), saw large numbers of Australians latch on to the reactionary, racist politics of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party. As Jacqueline Lo has argued, in this period Asian-Australians were frequently represented as an unassimilable Other, a threat to Australia’s ‘white’ identity, and to individual Australians’ jobs and opportunities. On the other hand, during the same period, a desire to counter the racism in Australian culture, and develop a ‘voice’ that would distinguish Australian cultural products from European theatrical traditions, combined with the new opportunities for cross-cultural exchange that came with the Creative Nation Cultural Policy to produce what Helen Gilbert and Jacqueline Lo have characterised as an Asian turn in Australian theatre...

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ID Code: 50270
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 1557-2935
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Bree Hadley
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution
- Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License. To view a copy of this license, visit; or, (b) send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 2nd Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
Deposited On: 15 May 2012 01:00
Last Modified: 07 May 2013 04:11

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