Internationall Journal of Asian Studies : First ViewPerspectives on Asia: is China kitsch?
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2020
Due to the introduction of the market economy, in the past four decades China has switched from being a “planned country” – planned economy, planned art – into a domestic version of cultural pluralism. Consumerism has refilled the vacuum left by the retreat of Maoist ideology. However, the overwhelming success of mass culture is sided by the progressive marginalization of the intellectuals or elite, featuring a culture that is kitsch in its ideological twist. In China, present-day cultural constructions provide a forum of debate for the identity of the whole nation, no more traditional, and not yet modern. In other words, consumerism and commercialism, triggered by products of market economy, have generated a cultural consumption of redundant bad taste. Kitsch indeed.