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Title: China, a Man in the Guise of an Upright Female: Photography, the Art of the Hands, and Mei Lanfang's 1930 Visit to the United States
Authors: 葉凱蒂
Yeh, Catherine
Keywords: 梅蘭芳;馬爾智;齊如山;乾旦;蘭花指
Mei Lanfang;Benjamin March;Qi Rushan;female impersonator;orchid fingers/gestures
Date: 2014-12
Issue Date: 2018-04-10 17:34:33 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 關於梅蘭芳1935年的訪美之旅及其衍生的戲劇藝術與文化交流課題,學術界始終研究不斷。本文以圖像資料為基礎,追溯了梅蘭芳及其智囊團為準備此行所出版的攝影集、訪美前寄往美國的照片、訪美時由當地專業攝影師拍攝的劇照、訪美後由美國學者前往北京拍攝的手式特寫,乃至根據這些特寫所製作的木版畫,突顯出攝影對於梅蘭芳所代表的京劇藝術所曾發揮的影響力,以及這門藝術所代表的中國形象,如何回應了當時國際社會對中國的普遍認知。在傳統士大夫文化中,蘭花代表著高潔的品性與雅緻的品味,齊如山為梅蘭芳的表演手式所賦予的蘭花之喻,一方面使京劇與此文化相連結,有助於提升京劇的地位;一方面也為梅蘭芳所扮演的女性塑造了鮮明的形象,增加京劇在表演藝術上的特色,有助於吸引國際舞臺的注目。透過現代攝影的推波助瀾,京劇獲得了原本所沒有的附加意涵。
The visit of Mei Lanfang's theater troupe to the United States in 1935 and the related cultural exchanges in both theatrical and broader senses have formed an extending research field. This paper approaches by examining the pictorial materials produced for and resulted by Mei's visit, which include photographs published for the preparation of Mei's visit, those sent to the United States prior to the visit, those taken by a local professional photographer during the visit, shots of hand gestures taken by an American scholar in Beijing after the visit, as well as the subsequent wood engravings. These materials reveal the impact modern photography had on the art of Peking opera as represented by Mei. Moreover, Mei's images talk back to the international society regarding its image of China.For the traditional scholar-officials, the orchid represents high moral stature and cultural refinement. When Qi Rushan interprets Mei's hand gestures by using the orchid metaphor, he was able to connect Peking opera with the elite culture and help uplift its social status. In the meantime, Mei's orchid gestures, accompanied by other attitudes of the body, provide clear images to his female characters. Magnified by modern photography, these images eventually stress the acting aspect (as opposed to mere singing) of Peking opera, allowing the art form to find an enthusiastic echo well beyond the members of the Western avant-garde.
Relation: 東亞觀念史集刊 , 7, 3-52
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[東亞觀念史集刊] 期刊論文

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