Emaciated Chineseness --- A Semiotic Analysis of How China Is Visually Translated at the Opening Ceremony of the 29th Summer Olympics

Ersu Ding


This paper proposes to examine how China was presented at the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games. To showcase China to the rest of the world was one of the objectives of the opening ceremony but it had to be done in such a way that the main course of the Olympic narrative would not be much affected – a constraint which greatly reduced the Chineseness of the event. Secondly, selecting symbols of China for the grand occasion was itself a process that would emaciate the whole way of life called Chinese culture. This was complicated by the fact the director and his team had the moral obligations to counter the Orientalist discourse when the Olympic Games were held in their own country.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v6n5p50

Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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