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Better Life? Drawing the People’s 2010 Shanghai World Expo

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Better Life? Drawing the People’s 2010 Shanghai World Expo

Hui, Joanne Joe Yan (2016) Better Life? Drawing the People’s 2010 Shanghai World Expo. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation presents a research-creation investigation of the phenomenon of visitor activities at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the results of which later became part of the visual culture of the event in the form of a 200-page drawing folio entitled Expo Daily. Featuring 130 watercolour illustrations (ranging from 25.4 x 30.5 centimetres to 21.9 x 29.7 centimetres) accompanied by field notes, Expo Daily uses primary data gathered over a forty-two day period through observation, drawing, and information gathered from local newspapers. Critical analysis included verification with secondary sources to report and reduce the raw data. The drawing folio subsequently served as the main unit of study for this dissertation by providing graphic (illustrated) case studies of three kinds of visitor activities: visitors preferring to buy counterfeit Haibao toys rather than the officially licensed Expo souvenirs, visitors picnicking on fairgrounds not designed for accommodating sedentary groups, and visitors passing up exhibition displays in favour of collecting souvenir stamps. The findings suggest that many visitors engaged in social practices very different from those anticipated by the Shanghai Expo’s official pavilions, which showcased the theme “Better City, Better Life.” This study argues that these divergent visitor activities speak to China’s issues of class inequality, and alternative narratives of nationality once visitors left the pavilions for the fairgrounds of the Expo. Visitor activities, therefore, highlight the question of “Better Life?” in order to investigate how local Chinese attendees contested the Shanghai Expo’s official programs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Hui, Joanne Joe Yan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Humanities
Date:September 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jim, Alice Ming Wai and Freiwald, Bina Toledo and Bachmann, Ingrid
Keywords:2010 Shanghai World Expo, China's Middle Class, Shanzhai, Research-Creation, Graphic Travelogue, Drawing
ID Code:981871
Deposited By: JOANNE HUI
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 16:51
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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