Large screens in Shanghai

Xin Gu, Audrey Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Shanghai is a city obsessed with futuristic images, something most apparent in its fascination with large urban screens. This paper examines the proliferation of large urban screens in Shanghai represented by the exhibition of advanced technological and cultural experiments during the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Through these unique large screen practices, the paper examines the triangular relationship between culture, state and market in China s modernization. The ambition to join the elites of global cities has seen heavy investment in hard infrastructure in Shanghai. But government control of the media industry including large screen facilities allows little space for them to be used for the expression of everyday culture. We position large screens and their varied urban practices within the framework of the creative industries in China. That is, we will evaluate the arrival of large screens as part of the reframing of cultural policy to allow the interpenetration of culture and economy since the 1990s. We place spectacle screens in Shanghai within the wider question of an alternative Chinese modernity whose challenge is to bring together a forward looking globalized modernization process and a backward resistance from the everyday process of the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31 - 55
Number of pages25
JournalSituations Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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