Chapter

Staging Cultural Fragments, the Singaporean Eunuch and the Asian Lear

C. J. W.-L. Wee

in The Asian Modern

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098596
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207509 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098596.003.0007
Staging Cultural Fragments, the Singaporean Eunuch and the Asian Lear

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This chapter discusses how Singaporean theatre has dealt with the gap between the older utopia of autonomous creation that cultural and artistic modernism stood for and the reality of suppression of the symbolic realm in the city-state. During the 1980s, the theatre was the most dynamic contemporary art that had emerged. Against the virtual impossibility of creating a new and different order, the late playwright and intellectual Kuo Pao Kun and the intercultural director Ong Ken Sen toiled to extend cultural memory against the threat of a culturally fragmenting economic development through envisioning a fractured Singapore-Asian humanism that challenged the state's version of Asia. These two Asian theatre practitioners attempted a counter-reterritorialization and re-imagining of the entity of Asia together with the city-state's place within it.

Keywords: theatre; cultural modernism; artistic modernism; Kuo Pao Kun; Ong Ken Sen; Singapore-Asian humanism; Asia; counter-reterritorialization

Chapter.  10073 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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