Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Chu Campaign's latest

Eric Chu's latest ad. The color scheme is interesting -- there's almost no bright green, the color associated with Taiwaneseness, and few rich KMT reds. Instead, blue, aqua, and orangish tones predominate. After viewing this I finally noticed that the ONE TAIWAN rainbow contains... no bright greens.

A still from a few seconds in, showing the conventional four major cultural groups -- mainlanders, Hoklo (Minnan), Hakka, and Aborigines. The mainlanders are represented by a suit wearing male white collar worker, while the Minnan are farmers (not factory/shop owners). No prejudices there, of course. Females are used to represent Hakkas and Aborigines. Divisive ethnic appeals based on this four-group model have been a key component of KMT power in Taiwan.

Note that in the next frame the mainlanders speak "Guoyu" (Mandarin). One urgent need of KMT rule was creating a shared "Mainlander" identity out of the diverse ethnic groups which followed the KMT elites in their retreat to Taiwan. None of the mainlanders speaks Zhejiangese, Shanghaiese, or Cantonese. One of the many ironies of KMT rule is that the mainlander identity is an identity that is totally Taiwan in origin. The same thing happens to the Aborigines, who are said to speak Aboriginese, and not Amis, Atayal, Rukai, etc.

Further on in the ad come the classic KMT representations of Taiwan culture: food, religion, festivals, the Economic Miracle, democracy. These are compatible with the KMT construction of Chinese culture as local expressions of the common Chinese identity. Missing as a component of culture: local history, which the KMT has diligently worked to suppress. This political lecture is given in animation, because photography would evoke the landscape and thus, the local feeling of connection to it, obviating the effect of the ad.

In fact, if you look at the KMT ads on the One Campaign site, many of them show the candidate in a white background and/or using animation. The landscape of Taiwan is often completely omitted. The preposterous ad I linked to several posts below, which shows the man in his 50s complaining about how he built Taiwan and is ignored, shows real scenes but only interiors. This is not always true -- this ad has some lovely shots of the land and people -- but for the most part it appears to be.

Of course, all this Taiwan-centeredness is only for election time. After that, the KMT will return to China...

ADDED: A friend on Facebook observed that even the ROC flag at the end has the red changed to the puke pink color. Drew Kerslake noted that "Using the female to diminutize indigenous peoples is a well established meme for colonial powers."
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Anonymous said...

Kinmen and Matsu are now part of another Taiwan, not the One Taiwan?

It still makes me wonder, what the KMT's Taiwan represents? Neither Taiwan as island nor Taiwan as province include Kinmen and Matsu. Yeah, I know. Election.

an angry taiwanese said...

My two-cent interpretation:
B+R = Purple = royal color => Chinese elites
G on W = justice as a natural right => Taiwanese democratic voters

TaiwanJunkie said...

Michael, will you have the links up for real time streaming of election results this weekend? Thanks in advance.

Jenna Lynn Cody said...

What I find ironic is using religion and festivals to evoke a Chinese identity. Temples in Taiwan don't remind me much of temples in China (a few details sure like incense burners but the overall feel is quite different) and the festivals, to me, are purely Taiwanese. The only time I ever saw anything like them in China was when there was a grand opening to a store and they hired two lonely lion dancers to celebrate. Nothing like the temple parades here (which, due to their temple connections and to some extent gang connections, are full of 'local Taiwanese' type DPP supporters). So, as I see it, they are not Chinese at all. Using them to evoke 'Chinese' history and culture says a lot about the ignorance of the KMT.

an angry taiwanese said...

parades here (which, due to their temple connections and to some extent gang connections, are full of 'local Taiwanese' type DPP supporters
the temple networks in central taiwan have been and still are subpart of KMT patronage net. Wang jingping 王金平 and Yan qinbiao 顏清標 are their current leaders. The political ideology of taiwan temple networks are all, safe to say this, daydreaming Great Greatgrandpa China.

Central Taiwan also HQs White Wolfs, a gang-type fifth column.

Anonymous said...

Jenna Cody, I wonder if the Communist Party's attacks on religion (especially in the Mao years) account for some of the differences in religious activity in Taiwan and China.

Seamus said...

Re Chinese religion, temples, etc. I think it depends on where in China you go. I'm no expert, but temples around Quanzhou/Xiamen (southern Fujian) and Chaozhou/Shantou (eastern Guangdong) strike me as very similar to what you find in Taiwan. Also lots of similarities in street ceremonies, tables of offerings set outside businesses, etc.

Until I first visited southern Fujian I'd always assumed Chinese and Taiwanese culture were totally different, or perhaps the Communists in China had wiped out various traditions. I'm sure both those factors are important, but I think it's also a case of certain Taiwanese traditions drawing on quite specific regional Chinese traditions.

China is also changing really fast though, and local culture in the coastal cities seems to be getting diluted by new immigrants from the interior. Also got a trend towards increasing homogeneity.

NONE said...

It is not how things look on the outside, but how people use the symbols that make them culturally distinct. Temples may look the same, but people's behaviors may be radically different.