Gazing of the Wuxia Body: Digital Visual Effects, Looking Relations, and Spectatorship in Peter Chan’s Wu Xia (2011)

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The rise of computer and digital imaging technology in the late twentieth century has transformed how we see and know the wuxia body in martial arts cinema. The wuxia body, once largely built on the notion of corporeality, as coded in the corresponding literary tradition, is now subjected to digital reproduction, simulation, and manipulation, revealing a different visual and epistemological logic in the current epoch. Peter Chan’s (2011) Chinese martial arts epic Wu Xia is well known for its innovative use of digital effects which allows viewers to “look through” the body, engaging with an alternative vision to the wuxia physicality. Where traditional wuxia films generally emphasize the overt choreographic performance, Wu Xia “modernizes” the genre by exposing the interior of the human body enabled by simulationist effects. This chapter argues that the digital rendition becomes a kind of disciplinary practice to regulate the wuxia body by making it transparent and visible to the viewers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconceptualizing the Digital Humanities in Asia
Subtitle of host publicationNew Representations of Art, History and Culture
EditorsKaby Wing-Sze Kung
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Pages17-30
Number of pages14
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9789811546426
ISBN (Print)9789811546419, 9789811546440
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameDigital Culture and Humanities
Volume2
ISSN (Print)2520-8640
ISSN (Electronic)2520-8659

User-Defined Keywords

  • Medical gaze
  • Wuxia
  • Body
  • Digital
  • Discipline
  • Excess
  • Visibility
  • Spectatorship

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