Comic Fandom Culture in Taiwan: How It All Started.

Written by Hui-Hua Lu. The comic and animation fan culture in Taiwan may have started by accident, but now it is lively and energetic with comic conventions and online platforms that offer spaces for people to participate and a channel to express themselves. The fan culture in Taiwan started around the 1990s when 大然出版社 (Da Ran Publishing) in Taiwan first added the comics created by Japanese fans of Saint Seiya (聖鬥士星矢, sheng doushi xingshi in Chinese, 聖闘士星矢, セイントセイヤ in Japanese) at the end of their publications of the same comics.

Memes and Milk Tea Alliances: Ludic activism in Taiwan in 2021

Written by Genevieve Leung. The Milk Tea Alliance was formed when Mainland Chinese social media users attacked two Thai celebrities to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan independence activists. Thai social media users deployed humour to combat the attacks, and Taiwan and Hong Kong users joined in, using the shared custom of drinking milk tea, along with various minoritized statuses, as the cohesive forces that “naturally” drew them together.

Celebrity and Spokes-character Endorsement in Taiwan

Written by En-Chi Chang. ‘I started my day by putting on my Uniqlo LifeWear coat endorsed by Vivian Hsu. Then I headed out and stopped by 7-Eleven to buy a cup of City Coffee endorsed by Gui, Lun-Mei (桂綸鎂) for breakfast. Then, rushing to the MRT station, I used Open-chan(Open將) iCash card to take the MRT train to work. Though I do not have an ASUS ROG 5 designed by Nyjah Huston, my ACER endorsed by GBOYSWAG (鼓鼓) was just fine for work. After work, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner at Eatogether endorsed by Accusefive (五告人). Then I went home and treated myself with a round of massage on my Fuji Massage chair endorsed by Ariel Lin (林依晨) while playing the game ‘Lineage II’ (天堂II) endorsed by Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武).’

Pleasing the Mainland or Island: The Politicisation of Taiwanese Stars During On-Going Cross-Strait Turbulence

Written by Jian Xu. On January 25, 2017, National Defense News, a military newspaper under the management of the Military Committee of the Communist Party of China, published a commentary titled, ‘Never allow artists to eat Chinese food and smash Chinese bowls.’ The article criticised pro-independence Hong Kong singer Hins Cheung and applauded his ban from appearing on one of China’s most popular reality shows, I Am a Singer, run by Hunan Satellite TV. It argues that ‘in front of the overall interests of the country and nation, every artist needs to stay rational within the bottom line. Overstepping the bottom line means no future. Any ‘idol’ will be discarded if they hurt the national emotion and dignity of the Chinese people.’

Confessions from a Former Fan Girl

Written by Ellie Koepplinger. I remember being thirteen with vivid clarity. You are at once gangly, disproportionate, and uncomfortable with yourself, confused and delighted in equal measure by your budding independence. You are constantly trying to untangle a knotted web of hormones, education, and friendships, convinced that one poor decision would permanently impact the chasm of life that stretched before you. At that tender inflexion point, falling in love with fictionalized Taiwanese pop idols was the one thing that kept me grounded.

Taiwan with a Side of New Public Diplomacy

Written by Martin Mandl. At about the same time as Bubble Tea made its first appearance in Vienna, President Ma Ying-jeou proclaimed “taking Taiwan’s food to the world a policy priority”. What followed was an economic stimulus plan, sometimes referred to by commentators as “All in Good Taste – Savour the Flavours of Taiwan”.

Rethinking Self-Identity and Taiwanese Indigenous Musicians’ Contemporary Presentation on Social Media

Written by GuoTing Lin (Kuing). This work uses digital ethnography to consider how Taiwanese indigenous musicians utilise Facebook as their primary official platform for audience communication. I go about this by analysing cover images, profiles, photos, and feeds on Facebook, which is used to depict the details of the texts, photos, and videos. It thus shows the self-presentation and the communication of Taiwanese indigenous musicians concerning cultural and social issues. Moreover, I argue that indigenous musicians perform their identity through online self-presentation in everyday life.

The Global Story of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Italy, China and Taiwan

Written by Daniele Mario Buonomo. The diffusion and practice of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an important issue both in the Chinese and Western worlds. In European and Western countries, TCM, and specifically acupuncture, is increasingly popular. In 1979, for the first time, acupuncture and moxibustion received the attention of the World Health Organization. TCM’s importance has even been stressed in 2010 by UNESCO, who inscribed acupuncture and moxibustion on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A Response to Trauma through Puppetry and Performative Reenactment

Written by Chee-Hann Wu. Puppets are mysterious creatures with lives and narratives different from that of humans. With its poetic and metaphorical nature, puppetry can unfold untold stories, censored or silenced. Flip Flops Theatre’s Lala: The Singing Bear (2019) and I Promised I Wouldn’t Cry (2019) are examples of puppets’ potentiality to access and tell these stories. Both pieces, designed for adults and children, adopt puppetry as a medium to address trauma under the White Terror. 

The Fashioning of Filipino Community in Taiwan: OFW Beauty Pageants in the Era of Social Media

Written by Yi-Yu Lai. As an anthropologist who studies Indigenous movements in the Philippine highlands, my experiences of beauty pageants’ are not rare. The beauty pageant has been culturally entrenched in the Philippines and its diasporic communities for many decades. Because these contests are very popular with Filipinos, some Indigenous youth advocates use them as an instrument for cultural activism, empowering participants and attracting those who were previously indifferent to political issues. Nevertheless, the Filipino beauty pageants of Taiwan are quite different from those I previously experienced.

Positioning Taiwanese Queer Cinema on the Global Stage

Written by Yi Wang. Significant progress and landmark rulings in advancing LGBTQ+ rights have been made across Asia in recent years, though many challenges and obstacles remain. Asians are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the UK, but Asian LGBTQ+ communities are not widely represented. Film reflects society and a medium capable of raising awareness amongst audiences in a direct and accessible way. Queer representation in the media is strongly linked to the wider public’s views on LGBTQ+ communities. I founded Queer East to amplify the voices of under-represented queer Asian and diasporic communities.

Nostalgia and Exile in the Diasporic Literature of Mainland-born Taiwanese

Written by Fang Tang. The word ‘diaspora’ derives from the Greek – dia, ‘through’, and speirein, ‘to scatter’, and was used to refer to the exile of the Jewish people from their homeland, the historic Israel. William Safran extends this concept in modern society to encompass a feeling of alienation, a nostalgic longing for the homeland and the self-consciousness act of defining one’s ethnicity. Over the past several decades, Chinese diasporic literature has generally been concerned with the motifs of nostalgia, homesickness, cultural identity and a sense of belonging.

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