YAN Feng (Fudan University) Metamorphosis and Mediality: An Interart Aproach to the Reception of Stephen Chow・s A Chinese Odyssey in Mainland China, English, October 2007.


This paper analyzes from an interart perspective the cultural impact of Steven Chow・s cult movie A Chinese Odyssey, which is very much a postmodern :translation; of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. The deconstructive power of this movie lies in the spatialization of the visual, the nonlinearized dialogue, and the juxtapositon of both to a greater effect. Ironically the seemingly decanonizing process turned into a glorifying recanonization, shaping A Chinese Odyssey into a new classic which is followed and imitated extensively through intermedial practice. It is no coincidence that Chow・s rise to fame synchronizes with the boom of the net culture of China. I will take the example of Jin Hezai・s famous online novel The story of Monkey King , which is deeply influenced by A Chinese Odyssey, to show how the internet provides an ahistorical space for the Chinese who are desperately breaking out of all kinds of confinement while seeking a new spirituality, and how they readily have recourse to Chow・s boundary crossing movies. In so doing, I hope to develop a theoretical basis on which the correlation between media transformation and its political, historical, and cultural implication could be further explored.