Fusionable Cheongsam

Wessie Ling

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

Abstract

Despite its feminine image, cheongsam’s hybrid nature originated in the traditional men’s changpao of 1910s and the influence of western aesthetics in the trading cities of 1930s China. While some studies (Steele and Major 1999, Tam 2000, Wilson 1997) have generalised the cheongsam as a product of ‘East meets West’, its close link with the political background and cultural history of China has been little considered. Amidst its rejection by Communist China and its ignominious adaptation as a seductive dress and hostess uniform, the cheongsam has continued to evolve and acquired new identities through popular culture, fashion production, global circulation and consumption. Following Lowe’s (1995) notion of hybridity, Fusionable Cheongsam responds to cheongsam’s dichotomous representations by tracing the social and cultural history of China vis-à-vis cheongsam’s hybrid origin, evolution and liaison with the West.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2007
EventFusionable Cheongsam - The Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
Duration: 1 Jun 2007 → …

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