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Reflection on arguments

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Gao Xingjian and Transcultural Chinese Theater by Sy Ren Quah.


One idea that jumps out in this book is how Gao Xingjian applied the wheeze of disbelief in his works or plays. Xingjian’s works portray him as an individual who is politically and artistically controversial in modern China (Quah, 2004). This is because none of his works conformed to the realist tradition.


This idea reveals that China’s political environment had some kind of influence on artistic and other forms of composition. This conforms to the ancient political and social environment in China. Xingjian’s works are considered controversial simply since they oppose the form of leadership practiced in the country.


The impact of opposing the government using his works is seen when Xingjian was forced into exile in 1985. This implies that individuals have not yet gained the freedom to express themselves. To some extent, the government is still limiting the thoughts of individuals. This will harm the future of artists in China. The nation will possibly be rendered devoid of creative artists since creativity is only limited to what impresses the government.

The erotics of disappointment by Ackbar Abbas


Christopher describes Wong’s film, using imagery. He likens them to the feet of a fat man (Abbas, 1997). Though the feet carry the man to his destination, he only gets to see them when the day ends. The films are created to fit in different genres, and they seem unrelated. However, they all tend to convey an important message concerning China’s political environment to the audience.


When Wong produced his films, the laws governing the market also affected film production. Between 1984 and 1997, the existing conditions called for films that would help the people in Hong Kong identify with their culture. Possibly, this was a way of diverting people from the oppressive political environment.


Wong’s films have no direct relationship with the political environment. This gives the films a better chance of survival in an environment where political issues were seriously meant for the elite or the government. Wong’s films affirm that political occurrences play a significant role in composing films. However, that does not imply that the artists should meddle with political issues. Their works should still act as the fat man’s feet. The message should get home without being noticed.

Chasing the metaphysical express David Martinez


The idea that comes out in this paper is applying the auteur model in producing films (Martinez, 1997). Despite the strict commercial conditions to control film production in Hong Kong, this model allows Wong to create a customized marketing criterion. Wong uses French rather than Chinese music in his films.


By using French background music, Wong takes his audience’s mind away from their original land. Wong also uses music done at a different time compared to how the film is set. Wong uses the music to connect his audience to another environment while his hidden themes concern China’s political state.


From one perspective, China’s political environment has impaired creative compositions using market laws, propaganda, and other structures. However, Wong’s oeuvres prove that creativity can still be exercised in an unsuitable environment. Actually, to Wong, China’s unsuitable environment has made him compose his works more creatively than he would have done in an environment without restrictions. 


Abbas, A. (1997). The erotics of disappointment. Wong Kar-wai, 39-81.

Martinez, D. (1997). Chasing the metaphysical express. Wong Kar-wai, 29-38.

Quah, S. R. (2004). Gao Xingjian and Transcultural Chinese Theater. University of Hawaii Press.

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