Ideology and the performance of Chineseness
Hong Kong singers on the CCTV stage
Keywords:Hong Kong, identity, People’s Republic of China, popular music, television
This article examines the construction of Chinese nationalism through song performances on China’s national network, China Central Television (CCTV), with a particular focus on the accommodation of Hong Kong singers. It contributes to the body of knowledge on televised musical performances in Asia, a subject on which there is limited research. I examine two performances by Hong Kong singers on CCTV’s travelling programme The Same Song in 2007, the year China celebrated ten years since the end of British sovereignty over Hong Kong. I argue that singers who are identified as hailing from Hong Kong perform different but overlapping ideological roles for Party-state television. They appear to offer audiences a sense of freshness and modernity, and therefore help the Party-state project an image of open-mindedness and inclusivity. In addition, their songs serve to ease audiences into paying attention to the more overt ideological messages presented through the programme’s dialogue segments.
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